EL SEGUNDO, CA The Bruins know theyve got a golden chance to wrap things up after two months of struggle.
All of the players, coaches and management in the Bs organization freely admit theyre checking the scores at dinner, and Tyler Seguin admitted he has the TSN application on his blackberry to check the standings and scoreboard. The Bruins know theyre three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators in the Northeast Division, and they also know that they gained another potential game in hand when Ottawa dropped a 5-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.
That makes it three losses in a row for a Senators team that magic carriage appears to be turning into a pumpkin at the end of the regular season. Now only a few wins from the Bruins could sew things up for the Northeast Division tile.
With cell phones now youre always at dinner checking your phone for the scores. Its not too easy getting hockey here in LA with the basketball games going on right now. This time of year youre always scoreboard-watching, said Julien. Thats a natural thing. Ottawa has given us an opportunity here, and weve got to seize it. They lost last night and now weve got another game in hand. Weve got to win those if we want to finish in that position.
With the new rules in effect that place importance on regulationovertime wins as the first tie-breaker while excluding the shootout wins its another nuance within the box score that the Bs coach is paying close attention to in this final handful of games.
Florida is right behind us as well and Buffalo is pushing from underneath now too. Its on us to take advantage of the opportunities given to us. Its in our control. The real interesting thing this year is the regulation and overtime wins, said Julien. Youre watching those too because theyre going to count this year as a tie-breaker if it goes down to that kind of stuff.
Clearly the Florida Panthers are still close at hand with a chance to overtake the Bruins for the No. 2 seed in the East, but that should only add to the urgency this weekend with tonights tilt against the Kings followed by Sundays showdown with the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. After dropping the first game on the West Coast with an offensive no-show against the San Jose Sharks, the urgency has heightened for the California weekend of hockey.
This is a good opportunity for us, said Tyler Seguin, who was among the Bs forwards that never found their legs Thursday night in San Jose. We looked at this trip as an important one before we left Boston. With the time changes, the flights and the quality of the teams we were playing against, we need to play good hockey and hopefully that will be reflected in the standings.
The Bruins now have their chance to crush down those teams attempting to catch them from behind in the standings, and this weekend will tell the tale of whether they take advantage of it.