Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark perform their tradition of a bear hug after a win, photo courtesy of Andy Devlin

Bruins Push Towards The Playoffs

The Boston Bruins have successfully punched their 6th consecutive ticket to the NHL playoffs in an arduous 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. After suffering a 3 game losing streak for the first time all season, the Bruins have rattled off 4 wins in their last 5 games, primarily against fellow playoff teams, such as the Penguins, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. However, when a small losing streak has ended doesn’t mean the Bruins are free from struggle.

In this final stretch of games, the Bruins have had an unprecedented tough streak on Power Play opportunities. Their current 0-33 stretch on the man advantage has severely hurt the team. Additionally, star forward Brad Marchand has hit a goal slump as well, not scoring a single goal over this 11-game stretch. For a team that thrives on offensive star power, this futility is very concerning, especially entering the playoffs. Some have attributed the struggles to the loss of key contributors at all 3 positions. For much of this stretch, the Bruins have been without goal leader David Pastrnak, versatile defenseman Hampus Lindholm, and goaltender Linus Ullmark. Although all three played in Saturday’s win against the Rangers, they will most likely be scratched as they rest prior to playoffs.

This has led to head coach Bruce Cassidy rearranging the lineup in various ways. He’s put regular members of the 4th line such as Tomas Nosek and Curtis Lazar up the 2nd line to play in Pastrnak’s usual spot. Rookie Marc McLaughlin has filled in on the 4th line in the shuffle. On defense, Lindholm’s absence has led to Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort filling in on the top pair to play with Charlie McAvoy. Finally, for the goalies, Linus Ullmark’s injury has caused rookie Jeremy Swayman to start 5 consecutive games. Although Swayman has fallen from his post-Rask era since January, he’s still been a quality goalie for the black and gold.

The Bruins currently have 3 games left on the schedule. A Tuesday matchup against the top-seeded Florida Panthers will precede a back-to-back against the Buffalo Sabres and the season finale against the Toronto Maple Leafs. A final gauntlet such as this is the best way to toughen up this team for the playoffs.

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related

Caleb Williams waves to fans after his final game at USC on November 18th, 2024. (Gina Ferazzi / LA Times).

2024 NFL Draft Preview

As the 2024 NFL Draft closes in, the war rooms of all 32 teams are buzzing with anticipation. This draft is set to be a very competitive one in terms of offensive talent, particularly at the quarterback position, with many mock drafts projecting four of the top ten selections to be quarterbacks. These standouts include […]

Coach Profile: Erica Adams

Bridgewater State University women’s lacrosse Head Coach Erica Adams is in her seventh season at the helm. She has taken the Bears to five seasons with over 10 wins each, as those are all the season not shortened by COVID. She is also in her second year as the athletics operations manager, where she manages […]

Red Sox Off to Great Start

The Red Sox season has officially begun, indicating that spring has truly arrived. The Red Sox started at 3-2 in the young season. The Sox started the season with a series split in Seattle against the Mariners, delivering manager Alex Cora his first opening-day win as a manager. The Red Sox’s victory was their earliest […]