The Bruins play as of late hasn’t been great in most people’s opinion. But if they continue to play like they did Sunday against the New York Rangers, it will be good enough to possibly finish fifth or sixth in the Eastern Conference. This would be an ideal position for them to be in heading into the post season.
In the next couple days there will be five teams fighting for extremely important points in the East.
• Monday – 3/22/10
Ottawa Senators (79) vs. Montreal Canadiens (79)
• Tuesday – 3/23/10
Boston Bruins (76) vs. Atlanta Thrashers (75)
Philadelphia Flyers (79) vs. Ottawa Senators (79 or 81 if they beat the Habs)
The Bruins are in a serious “must win” type of situation and, as I mentioned, if they bring the type of play they did on Sunday they’ll stand a much better chance of getting those necessary two points each night. In the game against the Rangers they were hitting harder, passing sharper, and doing a good job of clogging up the slot on both ends of the ice. They are still having the same ongoing issues finding the back of the net and I don’t see any of the final 11 regular season games being high scoring affairs. But if they can stay tight defensively, protect whatever leads they get, and keep a man in front of the opposing teams’ goalies the dirty goals are going to be what wins them the games.
It doesn’t sound like an ideal game plan and part of it definitely includes the next eleven teams making a number of mistakes in their given sixty minutes. There is no question in my mind that the next few weeks are desperation time. The Bruins are in the playoffs at the moment but if you think just making the post season in the eighth spot is going to cut it you’re sadly mistaken. Because the 8th will play the 1st in the first round, meaning Alexander Ovechkin and the league leading Washington Capitals will be coming at the Bruins with everything they have.
An ideal situation for the next couple days would go as follows… Ottawa beating the Habs on Monday and the Flyers on Tuesday, leaving those two teams at 79 points and the Bruins taking two points from the Thrashers will put them one point behind Montreal and Philly heading into Thursday’s game with the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning.
Two other games on Tuesday I’ll be keeping an eye on are the Florida Panthers hopefully beating Toronto Maple Leafs and keeping the Bruins first round draft pick in a Top 2 spot and I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Lightning drop their sixth in a row to the Carolina Hurricanes before they make their way up Boston on Thursday.