What a week of ups and downs for the Bruins. On Monday they started out with a pretty poor showing against the Buffalo Sabres. This saw Tim Thomas getting pulled midway through the second after Buffalo scored their third goal of the night. Not all the blame can be placed on Tim’s shoulders. The defense fell apart on more then a few occasions and two out of the three goals even deflected off Dennis Wideman and past Thomas. Tuesday they traveled to “The Rock” in New Jersey to face the Devils. The Bruins seemed much more focused and held the Atlantic Division leaders scoreless for the entire sixty minutes. Then with 18.3 seconds left in overtime Patrice Bergeron picked up Mark Stuart’s rebound and put it past Martin Brodeur for the win, keeping them within the top 8 in the East. Back home in the Garden on Thursday against the Florida Panthers. What a homecoming Florida, and former Boston College, goalie Scott Clemmensen had. He recorded his first shutout in one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever watched. It seemed like the Bruins had more scoring chances in that one game then they’ve had all year. But not a single one could find the back of the net. Which brings us to last night in Toronto… all week everyone’s been talking about home all of these games in the home stretch of the regular season are “must wins” for the Bruins, but that statement was so important going into Saturday. Forget about the Toronto draft picks the B’s have, forget about the Divisional rivalry, and forget about the Phil Kessel nonsense. The only thing that any of them needed to be thinking about was the simple math. There are five teams in the Eastern Conference looking to fill the bottom three spots in the Playoffs. Obviously two teams are going home unhappy in less then a week. So when Colton Orr scored the first goal of the game, I don’t think I was the only one that thought back to the recent game against the Panthers and said, “Not again.” But about half way through the second Miroslav Satan cleaned the slate by knocking home a feed from David Krejci. That would be the way it stayed until 3:25 into overtime when Satan once again played the role of “Johnny on the Spot” by redirecting in a Zdeno Chara shot from the point giving the Bruins two huge points in the very crowded standings.
So here’s how the bottom of the Eastern Conference breaks down heading into the final week of the season…
- 6th – Montreal Canadiens (86 points)
- 7th – Boston Bruins (84 points)
- 8th – Philadelphia Flyers (82 points)
- 9th – New York Rangers (82 points)
- 10th Atlanta Thrashers (81 points)
Everyone is one win away from some form of movement. The Flyers have the Detroit Red Wings Easter Sunday afternoon on NBC and the Bruins travel to Washington to play Alexander Ovechkin and the league leading Capitals on Monday night. The rest of them have games on Tuesday.
The Bruins main focus needs to be on a tight defense against the Capitals. It’s no secret that the Bruins have some serious scoring issues and Washington has one of the leagues scoring leaders in Ovechkin. The object needs to be shutting down Washington’s offense, and then throw some big bodies in front of their goalie when the B’s are in the offensive zone, and look for the redirects.
Dennis Seidenberg suffered a cut on his left wrist in the first period of the Toronto game and didn’t return. Coach Julien said, in the post game interview, that Dennis was ok and would travel with the team to Washington.
Mark Stuart was flown back to Boston Saturday afternoon after it was discovered that he had cellulitis in his hand. A quick Google search came back as, a skin infection caused by bacteria that can spread to the blood or lymph nodes and can become deadly if not treated immediately with antibiotics. No word on how long he’ll be out. Andrew Bodnarchuk was brought up from Providence on an emergency basis.