Boston Bruins look to make playoff push
The Boston Bruins clinched the win over the Dallas Stars at the TD Garden on Thursday, March 30 to end the month with a fighting chance. The Bruins did not play an orderly game on Thursday, failing to execute clean plays and fumbling pucks over and over. Some of their poor moves allowed the Stars to gain some advantage in the first period.
By the third period, the Bruins had begun their comeback by making two goals — one by left winger Brad Marchand, who set a career high of 38 goals on the season, and the other by defenseman Torey Krug, who also set a career high with 50 points. Unfortunately, defenseman Kevan Miller of the Bruins accidentally clipped Stars left winger Curtis McKenzie in the face. With McKenzie bleeding, Miller spent four minutes in the penalty box. Also, the Bruins briefly lost defenseman Adam McQuaid to a leg injury for a few minutes. With Miller and McQuaid out of the game, the Stars had a possible chance to close the two-goal deficit behind the Bruins, but the Bruins defense stayed strong. After a three-game losing streak the week before, the Bruins were on the outside looking in at the playoffs. However, after two wins since then and a strong performance on Thursday, they eventually found their way back to ultimate victory.
With a final score on Thursday of 2-0, the Bruins had little to complain about on their playoff push, as it was goaltender Tuukka Rask’s seventh shutout of the season. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy spoke out to explain that even after the mess of a game on Thursday, Rask pulled through and was key in helping the Bruins win the game. He was the best player out there and his angles were very solid, which allowed for minimal openings in the net for the Stars to shoot at. With two defensemen out in the third period, Rask pulled out all the stops and put in extra work to keep the Bruins in the game. Although the effort was very physically taxing, as he was on his own, Rask kept the team together as they were beginning to fall apart. Despite not playing their best, the win is all that matters for the team at this point in the year.
Looking at the other games on Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs stayed ahead of the Bruins for a playoff spot with their win over the Nashville Predators. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes, both right behind the Bruins for their wild card spot, were victorious on Thursday night as well. If the Bruins had lost the game against the Stars, the Lightning would have been trailing one point behind the Bruins for their number-2 wild card spot. Time and time again, the Bruins have put up a fight to get themselves out of close situations.
With six games remaining, the Bruins have 86 points, giving them a good three-point lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning and a four-point edge over the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes for the final wild card spot. Although they have a more comfortable position than before, they cannot slack off and make poor plays in these last few games. Slacking off could make the difference between winning and placing in the Atlantic Division, as they currently only trail behind the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point for third place, or losing and ruining their chances of a guaranteed spot in the wild card for a possible chance to make it into the playoffs. The fate of the Bruins’ season truly lies in their concluding performances that remain this year.
The Bruins have fought hard this season. With six games remaining to obtain eight points though, they will certainly be tested. It will require a continuation of hard work and determination, but most importantly they will have to work together as a unit on the ice. The Bruins cannot solely depend on Rask to send them into the playoffs, and they will need to support their clutch goaltender on both ends of the ice. However, a playoff spot is well deserved if they continue to work as hard as they have and perfect their plays.