Winners of 6 straight, the Boston Bruins have ended their 3 year playoff drought and have clinched a playoff spot after a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay. Pastrnak led the way with 2 goals (34 goals this season) with Chara and Stafford adding to the scoreboard as well. Rask, who has played exceptionally well the last few games, was lights out; posting a shutout with 26 saved shots.
After the 6-3 loss to Tampa back in March, many people, including myself, were saying that it would take a miracle for the Bruins to clinch a playoff spot and for Rask to be playing at a high level. We all expected that; the last 3 years were like that and everyone thought that would happen again. Well after that game, they proved many of us wrong; going on a 6 game winning streak, including an impressive win against Chicago on the road. They beat the teams they needed to beat to get into the playoffs, and boy do they look dangerous.
In the NHL, or in any sport really, you never want to go up against a hot team going into the playoffs. The Kings have done it twice; winning games they weren’t suppose to win, squeezing into the playoffs, and winning the Stanley Cup. I’m not saying the Bruins are the Kings back in the days; but a team that’s gone on a 6 game winning streak to squeeze into the playoffs (with 2 games remaining) should get teams a bit scared.
Ever since they fired Claude, the Bruins offense has never looked better than it is now; Marchand and Pastrnak leading the way in scoring, while Bergeron and Krejci contribute to the offense as well. The defense has gotten better with Krug being one of the top D-lineman on the team, Chara has contributed as well but is slowly on the downfall in his career. Rask has been a back and forth kind of goalie, but as of late has improved and looks like the goalie we’ve wanted to see for a while now.
As for how they’ll far in the playoffs, they should be dangerous if they continue to play the way they’re playing now. Marchand and Pastrnak can’t be the only ones who score for them though; guys like Backes, Bergeron, other players have to step up and help. As for Rask, we don’t know which Rask we’ll get in the playoffs; will we be getting Vezina Trophy winner Rask from a couple of years back, or will we be getting the Rask who plays poorly whenever he hears “playoffs”? It’s always a mental thing with him, he’s always an “off and on” goaltender; which frustrates us fans.
With two games remaining, the Bruins hope to end the regular season on a high note and go into the playoffs on a mission to bring the Stanley Cup back to Beantown. They will either be facing Ottawa or Montreal; pending on how these next two games go and how Ottawa and Toronto play.