After tonight's tilt there will be 8 games left in the regular season. Fucking crazy isn't it? It felt like yesterday that the NHL regular season was kicking off. And man, now we get to look forward to some playoff hockey in about two weeks.
Or if we look at the past few games, the displeasure of looking forward to some playoff hockey.
However it's not all gloom and doom in Boston. Look at the standings:
So despite how this team has been playing, they're still one of the best (statistically) in the Eastern Conference. Do we have stuff to complain about? Absolutely. The defense is still a mess, the offense is hit or miss, the power play is hockey's version of a dumpster baby and injuries are starting to fester like we are a black and vegas gold team.
Yet here we are, sitting in second place with a potential playoff preview tonight versus the Islanders. Yeah, the mother fucking Islanders. I love it that they are in the playoffs after such a miserable run this decade or twelve.
So Boston comes home are nearly pooping their pants against New Jersey. Get ready for the excuses now if they lose. Injuires. Fatique. Etc, etc. With the Canadiens breathing down Boston's neck for the top spot in the division and second place in the East (and no more games between them), Boston needs to win hockey games.
You think that this would be an understanding, but lately Boston has made a habit out of not showing up for big games. Look, the next 9 games are going to be considered big games. In the next nine games the Bruins:
- Play a playoff team four times (Islanders, Senators, Penguins and Capitals)
- Play two teams they have bad history with (Philly, Buffalo)
It's going to be a hard run to the end of the playoffs and the injuries aren't helping, but there's some good news:
Adam McQuaid is ready to return. Good chance we'll see him in the Bruins lineup tonight, per Julien.— Naoko Funayama (@NaokoFunayama) April 11, 2013
But that's not the only gem Naoko tweeted today:
Patrice Bergeron is taking part in the optional morning skate today. #Bruins— Naoko Funayama (@NaokoFunayama) April 11, 2013
This makes me so happy. Good to see Bergeron skating because it's the next step to making a full recovery. There is, however, no news on Brad Marchand. Apparently he's being checked out by doctors today and will more than likely not play tonight.
After the jump the rest of the preview...
Bergeron out, Marchand out, McQuaid in.
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton <---- WHY IS THIS LINE STILL A THING?!
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Jaromir Jagr
Jay Pandolfo - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron - Rich Peverley - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton
Adam McQuaid - Andrew Ference
Game Day Image/Video