Friday, April 10, 2015

These are the playoffs for the Bruins, and they're losing

For the Bruins, the playoffs started Thursday night, because they're staring elimination in the face. If they didn't realize this before losing to the Panthers 4-2, they realize it now. The B's no longer control their own playoff fate. They need help or they're out. They could even be knocked out before they take the ice against the Lightning Saturday night.

Before this loss to Florida, the Bruins were standing next to the electric chair. By losing, they've sat down in it. Now they need a call from the Governor, or a last-minute power outage to escape.

It's a good thing Claude Julien gave so much rest to guys on Tuesday night in Washington. It's a good thing that Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell were given so much ice time Wednesday. Because the B's really looked sharp and energized in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Speaking of Chris Kelly, the goalless streak extends to 26. And he had 12:26 of even-strength ice time in this game. David Pastrnak had 9:52.

You're playing back-to-back games. You have a 34-year old who hasn't scored since Valentine's Day. You have an 18-year old who has scored 10 goals since re-joining the team in January, and is +13 in that time. Which player will bring more energy? The 34-year old, or the 18-year old? Which will bring more offense and make more plays? The slumper or the scorer?

You have a coach who plays a man who hasn't scored in 25 games, over a man who has been scoring. Not just in Thursday night's game, but in the 3rd period of Wednesday night's 3-0 loss. In the 3rd period, down 3 goals, Julien gave Kelly 4:40 of even-strength ice time, and Pastrnak only 2:54.

Maybe Julien is planning on murdering someone, and he's trying to establish an insanity plea. He's certainly driving me crazy.

So here's the situation: The Senators have 97 points, the Penguins 96, the Bruins 95. The Sens and Penguins are in, the Bruins out. The Senators have 1 game left, the Penguins 2, the Bruins 1. If the Penguins win Friday night against the Islanders, they clinch their spot. If the Penguins lose in OT or a shootout, they can still clinch with 1 or 2 points on Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, the Senators are in Philly. The Bruins need them to lose in regulation to take their spot. If Pittsburgh wins either of their games (or loses both in OT/shootout), and if Ottawa wins, the Bruins will be eliminated before their game against Tampa Bay at 7:30 Saturday night.

And even if they get help, the B's will need to help themselves against the Lightning.

The Bruins were once in the driver's seat of their playoff destiny. Now they're outside of the car, and they need either the Senators or Penguins to give up their seats, or they'll get run over.

Photo Credit: Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

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