Bruins

Bruins

WILMINGTON – It was certainly a good weekend for the Bruins that has put them in an advantageous position to clinch a playoff spot headed into the final three games of the season.

But Claude Julien wasn’t taking anything for granted after putting his players through the paces at a Monday morning practice.

The Bruins currently need to win two out of the three road games against Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay to clinch a playoff spot with Boston, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Detroit all vying for three postseason spots up for grabs. The Senators have 93 points, and trail the Bruins, Penguins and Red Wings all tied with 95 points, and all four teams currently sit in the same boat with three games remaining in the season.

Boston’s playoff fate is very clearly in their own hands while riding a five-game winning streak, but the feeling, and rightly so, is nothing has been accomplished until the math says there will be Black and Gold in the postseason.

“I think we’ll need the knack [of picking up points] in this stretch. By no means are we out of the woods yet,” cautioned Julien. “There’s a pretty good tie going on with a lot of teams, and we don’t have an easy schedule. We have a game against Washington and we know what that represents, but it’s also a late game with a late arrival in Florida the next day.

“So we really need to take care of business early on, and try and take as many of those points as we can to not have to rely on the last game.”

The “last game” is a Saturday night tilt against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that the B’s would face in the first round of the playoffs were the season to have ended on Monday. That could set up a pretty interesting scene in Tampa against the Bolts if the B’s need points against them in Game No. 82, and a really, really interesting scene if that game holds up as a prelude to a first round playoff series between the two division rivals.