Amigo Dom Tiano is back with another great post about the playoffs and how the play-in and round robins affect the Boston Bruins. – KL
With just one game remaining for the Boston Bruins before the real games begin, they find themselves in a position fans, and probably the Bruins themselves, didn’t expect after dominating the regular season standings before action was paused due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
After losing it’s first two games, the Bruins sit in fourth spot before hitting the ice in Sunday’s matchup with the Washington Capitals. Here’s a look at the standings:
Tampa Bay 4 points
Philadelphia 4 points
Washington 1 point
Boston 0 points.
Carolina .596 pts% (advances)
Islanders .588 pts% (advances)
Toronto .579 pts%
Columbus .579 pts%
Montreal .500 pts% (advances)
So, what are the possible scenarios facing the Bruins and what does the outcome of Sunday’s contest mean?
Scenario 1: Boston beats Washington in any manner:
Winning in overtime or a shootout will leave the teams tied with 2 points a piece and the tie breaker is regular season points percentage, which favors the Bruins, so they would end up third. Winning in regulation would give the Bruins 2 points versus the Caps 1 point, so any type of win gives the Bruins third place.
Win and they face the Islanders.
The outcome of the Leafs and Blue Jackets play in round has no affect on who the Bruins opponent will be.
Scenario 2: Washington wins in any matter:
Lose in any fashion and face Carolina.
So, the Bruins possible opponents come down to New York Islanders or Carolina. Pick your poison. We’ll know Sunday.
Some quick thoughts:
- Fans are looking for excuses for the Bruins and there are many out there on social media. The fact of the matter is the Bruins were the hardest hit team in phase 3 with players going in and out as “unfit to play” and thus taking longer to find chemistry and gel. But is there enough time before round 1 begins?
- I wonder about Tuukka Rask’s While he was mostly solid against the Lightning, I counted four times the puck went in and out of his glove. You have to wonder if there is some pain there.
- Torey Krug. There is no questioning his heart and drive. He wants to win and it was never more evident when he dropped the mitts with Blake Coleman not only to come to the defence of a teammate, but provide the spark his team needed.
- Matt Grzelcyk and the power play. If David Pastrnak’s blast that trickled through Andrei Vasilevskiy hadn’t been pulled from the goal line, this conversation would be mute. That was the powerplay with Krug serving his fighting major. With Gryz running the powerplay, he went down behind the goal line and tried to feed a pass through three Lightning penalty killers and it ended up going the other way. He just doesn’t see the ice as well as Krug and doesn’t posses the shot and passing skills as Krug.
- The third line of Anders Bjork, Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk looked good for the most part. They were very good at puck possession and had some very good offensive zone time. If there is any change I would make there it is to put DeBrusk on the left side and Bjork on the right.
- The second line continues to frustrate. As the game went on, Nick Ritchie got better and began to find some chemistry with David Krejci in his first game of the post season. Jack Studnicka looked good in his time there but it wasn’t a legitimate second line. Let’s not put any unnecessary pressure on the kid. Ondrej Kase is expected to make his debut Sunday and the Bruins and their fans better hope he finds instant chemistry because, with all due respect, Karson Kuhlman is not the answer.
- Zdeno Chara looked slow even by his standards. He was susceptible to the speed game and on Wednesday Victor Hedman gave him lessons on how to use that enormous reach.
- I’m a big fan of Jeremy Lauzon, but I wonder if it’s time for him to sit and give John Moore a chance. Lauzon lost positioning very early in the game and had to take a penalty and it prevented the Bruins from getting everyone into the game right away. He also lost coverage that resulted in a Tampa goal. Right now, Moore would be a better option at puck retrieval and moving up ice by skating or passing.
- Brandon Carlo has been anything but the Brandon Carlo we’ve been accustomed to. He seems to have lost the confidence in his ability to skate with the puck and he isn’t the consistent shut down guy we’ve been use to seeing. He will need to find that and quickly.