Sunday, March 23, 2014

Games 70-71: Playoffs, Here They Come

Do you want to be informed on how you know that the NHL season is starting to wind down? 

Well, taking that last cross-country trip is certainly one of the giveaways. 

The Boston Bruins were on the road all weekend as they traveled waaaaaaay out west for the last time this season. They were in action on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche, followed by an intense matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

Since both games were that far away from the city of Boston, they each had 9 pm puck drops. The late-night start times are always a drag, but these two games were worth the red eyes that followed suit. 

The Bruins have been saying all month long that they have not been focused on the streak. Sure, ten games is ten games, but how much benefit of the doubt are we going to give this team? It has to be on their minds-the team has been playing so hot as of late. Throughout the month of March, the top four scorers on the team have all come from a different line (Jarome Iginla, Patrice Bergeron, Carl Sodeberg, Gregory Campbell). Remember that comment about having all four lines rolling? #caseinpoint 

The team was going for 11-straight wins on Friday against the Avs, and that mark would surpass the season record co-held by the B's and the Anaheim Ducks. 

The Avs, who took the only meeting of the season back in October, have the skill this year to make a deep playoff run. Well, so does their opponent, and both teams are looking to play hockey deep in the month of May. 

Johnny Boychuk traveled with the team, but he only ended up playing in the second game of the back-to-back set. He missed the previous three games with an injury. The defense continues to see some tweaks in order to get everyone involved. Chad Johnson was between the pipes for Boston. 

This game was slow and brisk, but the Bruins still stuck to their game. They held the skilled players of the Avalanche in check while keeping true to their identity.With goals by Bergeron and Soderberg, that was all they needed to seal the victory. Dougie Hamilton also recorded a pair of assists. What was great about this effort is that the B's held the lead and kept on playing without letting up. They are now the first team in the NHL to clinch a playoff spot. 

The Coyotes were up next on Saturday to close out the fifth back-to-backer of the month for the Bruins. Holy cow. Tuukka Rask was in net for this game. 

This one turned out to be a little scary for Bruins fans. Is it odd that we are so hooked on regular season games? We just do not want them to lose. Anyway, the Coyotes gave the B's all they could handle....then the third period happened. They scored three goals-two from Iginla and one from Shawn Thornton-to seal the win. #12games

The Bruins will return home on Monday night for a game against the Montreal Canadiens. 

Gold Star: Dougie Hamilton...Three points in two games to accompany his hard-nosed defense that he finally discovered. Those two healthy scratches seemed to have done wonders. 

Black Star: Zdeno Chara...His play has been rusty as of late, but he should get all of those kinks worked out before the playoffs.

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