The Penguins and Bruins will play for the Eastern Conference championship and the story that made Beantown a hot mess will come into play once the series begins.
The late night trade of Jarome Iginla that started with him in Boston and finished with him actually had him landing in Pittsburgh back in late March. The trade sent Bruins fans and the sports media into a whirlwind. For the city of Boston, they are getting what they want. A chance to get back at Iginla and stop him from getting back to the Stanley Cup Final for a second crack at winning the whole thing.
Both teams have had different paths to this point.
The Bruins almost blew a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs and while they were 11 minutes away from choking, the Leafs blew a 4-1 lead in Game 7 and lost the game in overtime. The New York Rangers didn't stand much of a chance as the Bruins took them out in five games.
The Penguins played an Islanders team that was young, fast and inexperienced in the postseason, that gave the Stanley Cup favorite a run for their money. Pittsburgh benched Fleury after Game 4 and started veteran Tomas Vokoun, who has been 6-1 since he got the nod for Game 5 of the quarterfinals. Ottawa was 1:27 away from poissbily being swept, but lived another day with a Daniel Alfredsson short-handed goal and a Greening winner in overtime in Game 3 gave the Senators a pulse that flat-lined in the third period in Game 4. The Penguins wrapped it up with a Game 5 winner at home.
Here are few other things to watch for during the Eastern Conference Finals:
Hockey's narrow minded analyst played and coached for the Bruins back in the day. From climbing into the stands and beating a Ranger fan with their own shoe, to complaining about the Penguins during the 1992 Wales Conference Final, and his comments about this current group of Penguins should make for some good entertainment in this series. Especially if the Penguins gain a large lead in the series or if an events escalates quickly.
If Chicago comes back to beat Detroit and both the Blackhawks and Penguins were to make the Final, we could add Jeremy Roenick to this list.
Just when you think he's gone, he's back. Jarimor Jagr and the Penguins seem to always meet up, especially in the playoffs.
Jagr was acquired by the Bruins back in April. It seems like Boston is like the jealous ex of the Penguins and is dating Jagr to make Pittsburgh jealous, especially after Ray Shero grabbed Iginla in that late night trade.
There is no doubt that the 41 year-old Jagr has had a good season. He had 14 goals, 12 assists in 34 games with the Dallas Stars before going to Boston. He has nine points in 11 games with the Bruins and has been quiet during the playoffs. With only four assists, it's not like Jagr has been the focal point of his teams success in the first two rounds.
His presence has a bigger impact on the fans than on the Penguins. Just the thought of seeing 68 on the ice still bothers some Pittsburgh fans. I think most are at the point where Jagr is the ex-girlfriend you can learn to be around without that awkward moment.
Ignina, Milbury and Jagr. The trifecta of interest stories you'll hear about during the series. Why? Because it's the Cup, and they need readers and viewers as well.