Monday, April 05, 2010
BIG WINS FOR BRUINS
The Celtics and Bruins aren't exactly in the same situations. The C's are gearing up for the postseason, the B's are just hoping to have one. But it is fair to say that neither team has met expectations in their regular seasons.
The Bruins needed to get 2 points Saturday night in Toronto. Despite being in the top 8, it was their last game of the season against an "easy" opponent (they play Washington twice in their last 4), and both the Canadiens and Rangers won their games, with the Thrashers losing in OT.
The B's blue-line has been a casualty list all season. Mark Stuart was out for this game with cellulitis, then his replacement (Andrew Bodnarchuk) played dreadfully, then Dennis Seidenberg's hand was sliced by a skate. At one point, when Dennis Wideman had to go back to the locker room for repairs, the Bruins had a mere 3 defenseman. Zdeno Chara played a staggering 32:53 of this game.
Yet it was Chara's hip-high shot in overtime that Miroslav Satan deflected (quite luckily) into the Toronto net, giving the Bruins a desperately needed 2 points.
Here's what the playoff race looks like:
Team - Games Remaining - Points
6. Montreal - 3 - 86 points
7. BOSTON - 4 - 84 points
8. Philadelphia - 3 - 84 points
9. NY Rangers - 4 - 82 points
10. Atlanta - 3 - 81 points
The Bruins can clinch a playoff spot with 6 points in their remaining 4 games. But that won't be easy. Monday they're @ Washington, Thursday they host Buffalo, Saturday afternoon Carolina comes to town, and Sunday at high noon, it's @ Washington again.
The Capitals have the best record in the NHL, with 51 wins. They're next to unbeatable at home, with a record of 28-5-5. They've scored 108 more goals than the Bruins this season.
Not only must the Bruins make the playoffs to salvage a scrap of dignity from this season, I think an 8th seed is just the same as not making the playoffs, because then they'd have to play Washington. A 7 or 6 seed would give the Bruins at least some chance of advancement.
It's Bruins @ Capitals, tonight at 7 on Versus.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Frank Gunn