The East Division is officially set for the playoffs this season. Heading into tonight, there was only one playoff spot left in the division. The other three spots are occupied by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders. The final spot was up for grabs, but only one team could take it home. The Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers are the two teams in the fight for that spot, but the Bruins are the favorite. All they need is a single point in this game against the New Jersey Devils. That wish seems to have come true.
The Rangers put up a good fight, but the Boston Bruins got hot at the right point this season. New York is coming into tonight on a costly two-game losing streak that basically crushed their playoff hopes. As for the Boston Bruins, they are as hot as it gets in their games after the trade deadline. Their dominant play has paid off to cap off the most unique season of all time. For the fifth straight season, the Boston Bruins are heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their ticket was punched with their 3-0 win over the Devils tonight. They will fight for seeding in their final five games this week.
Who will write the next chapter?
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 4, 2021
Offense Getting it Together
This team has lacked secondary scoring over the last few seasons. They are heavily reliant on their first line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak. When they are off, the whole team seems to be off. That is not the case anymore with this rejuvenated Bruins lineup. Don Sweeney went out and brought in a big fish at the deadline with Taylor Hall. His addition has given David Krejci a spark as his revolving door of wingers seems to have gone away.
The third line is getting it together too. Charlie Coyle has been slotted on the right-wing of Sean Kuraly the last few games. Nick Ritchie has been on a monster streak this season with his offensive production. Ritchie scores his 14th goal of the season tonight which matches a career-high he set with the Anaheim Ducks. This established third line is getting it done from every part of the ice. The Bruins now have three lines they feel comfortable producing offense. The fourth line is fantastic too. While the offense might not be there, their effort isn’t going unnoticed. If the Bruins keep this offensive spark in the playoffs, they have a legitimate chance to win it all.
Nick Ritchie blasts one home. Nice feed from Zboril.
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/UUijZzGulC
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 4, 2021
The Bruins are in a position they haven’t been in for a while. Over the course of this season, the Boston Bruins have started four different goalies in the same season. These goalies have been Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak, Dan Vladar, and Jeremy Swayman. When Rask and Halak went down with either an injury or a COVID absence, these young rookies helped the team in a big way.
Jeremy Swayman is a superstar in the making. In all his starts this season, he has allowed two or fewer goals in all but one game. In that game, he only allowed three goals to Philadelphia. His stellar play has gotten him a spot on the Taxi Squad and he seems to be getting more ice time than Jaroslav Halak. This is huge for the Bruins. They know they have three goalies they are comfortable starting as the playoffs start in a few weeks.
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