No, not this year. For the love of unicorns and show ponies, not this year. Does any of this seem horribly familiar to Bruins fans? Bruins hold a playoff spot entering the month of March, Bruins lose a few games in a row while fate has 2 teams behind the Bruins in the standings have convenient winning streaks. The Ides of March is no longer a reference to Julius Caesar, it is a reference to Boston Bruins hockey. Though it may be a little too late to hit the panic button, these past couple of games against Ottawa and Toronto have been insanely frustrating in a good and bad way.
For starters, the Bruins played very well during these games but still came up short. I would argue they completely outplayed both teams. This is something different because last year I didn't think the Bruins showed much heart at all during their second consecutive collapse. It's always insanely frustrating seeing your team do essentially most things very well and still receive the short end of the stick because the other team gets a few opportunistic bounces. It's also frustrating to see the Bruins shoot themselves in the foot with all of the recent penalties, whether they were called for or not. With teams getting 4 power plays, it's hard to imagine not seeing a team score in at least one of those man-up opportunities. Even though it's great to see the team put in great effort every night, effort doesn't get you into the post-season.
There's always that one team that just won't go away. A week ago it seemed like Tampa Bay needed a miracle to get into the post-season. With the recent struggles of the Bruins and the New York Islanders, it seems like this team is going to be giving us fits for the next couple of weeks. The Bruins have a crucial game against Tampa Bay tonight. I know I am probably going to be saying this for every game the rest of the way, but this really is the most important game of the season. 2 points gives you a little distance from Tampa while also giving you a point up in the standings on the Maple Leafs. Despite having a game against the Islanders down the road, with their recent poor play, I'd call Tampa Bay the biggest threat of kicking the Bruins out of the playoffs. I simply cannot go through another collapse and watch this team skate off into the TD Garden, embarrassed, 3 years in a row. This team has put in the work and has seemed to really gel together nicely during the new Cassidy era and I think this city and region deserve to see playoff hockey again. It's time to get the job done.
Ryan "Mully" Mulligan