The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

# Bear Essentials: Taking it Easy

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Wikipedia says of Magic Numbers:

The formula for the magic number is derived straightforwardly as follows...at some particular point in the season let team "A" have WA wins and LA losses. Suppose that at some later time, team "A" has wA additional wins and lA additional losses, and define similarly WB, LB, wB, lB for team "B". The total number of wins that team "B" needs to make up is thus given by (WA + wA) − (WB + wB). Team "A" clinches when this number exceeds the number of games team "B" has remaining, since at that point team "B" cannot make up the deficit even if team "A" fails to win any more games. If there are a total of G games in the season, then the number of games remaining for team "B" is given by G − (WB + wB + LB + lB). Thus the condition for team "A" to clinch is that (WA + wA) − (WB + wB) = 1 + G − (WB + wB + LB + lB). Canceling the common terms, we obtain wA + lB = G + 1 − WA − LB, which establishes the magic number formula.

 John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
Got it? Neither do I, and I love how they use the word "straightforwardly." Ha!

So here is the bottom line: It's all about Four (4) Points.

Four points puts the Bruins fortunes in their own hands.

So, if over the next three games the B's go…
3-0-0
2-0-1
2-1-0
1-0-2

…They are in. No questions asked. Period.

Now, it's a little more complicated, but if you want to get fancy you can add this:
Any combination of Bruins points gained or "Ninth Spot Points Lost" equaling four will get the B's into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Furthermore, if you are into scoreboard watching -- and we are talking strictly about the B's getting into the playoffs -- you can watch the ticker when Washington plays Carolina Tuesday night knowing that the best possible scenario for Boston is a regulation win for the Hurricanes.

If that happens, Boston's magic number is down to two points.

If you are concerned about playoff positioning (and hey, who isn't), you can watch Pittsburgh at New York Rangers tonight (On Versus) knowing that the NYR have a game in hand against the B's and are also tied with Boston with 91 points.

Wednesday night, while you are watching or listening to the Black & Gold take on the Devils, check the Internet to find the score of the Flyers vs. Penguins game.

Philadelphia is also tied with Boston with 91 points.

1:24 p.m.
It's not news that David Krejci has gained a lot of fans thanks to his recent play. With three goals and eight total points in his last four games, who can blame anyone for jumping on the Krejci bandwagon?

And you can count Patrice Bergeron amongst those people who have enjoyed David's play, but don’t add him to the list of those who are surprised at his teammate's success.

"He's more confident," said Bergy of Krejci. "His biggest assets are his patience and his vision. And when you have the confidence to be patient, the way he is, obviously [you're going to make] some great plays.

"It was just a matter of time."

Coming into this season, it was clear that Krejci had the ability to help Boston. In fact, that might have been clear several years ago, when David was drafted by the Black & Gold in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft.

Krejci followed his selection with a 63 and 81 point seasons with Gatineau of the QMJHL and then, last season, with Providence added a 31-43-74 docket to his resume.

After starting the season with the Boston edition of the Bruins, Krejci resumed his stint with Providence and garnered a 7-21-28 line in 25 games before rejoining the big club on December 30th.

Krejci has scored at every level and now he is scoring in the NHL, too.

"He was great last year in Providence," agreed Bergeron. "And I think he had a great camp last year and this year he was showing more confidence and as the year goes on he's picked it up.

"Now that he's had a chance for more ice time, he is just showing his skills.

"But I am not surprised at all by the way he is playing," he said.

 Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron works on his shot during a morning skate Thursday, March 20, 2008 in Boston. Bergeron has been out of the lineup since suffering a concussion and broken nose October 27th in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Bergeron talked about the overlooked physical aspect of Krejci's game.

"For myself [being physical] just keeps me more into the game," said Bergeron. "It gets me going and I am sure it is the same way for him.

"You have to keep involved…if you want to make some plays.

"If you are desperate to get the puck back and you go ahead and hit a guy, finish your check, it can cause some turnovers…and you are doing a better job," said Number 37.

However, perhaps the most important thing that Krejci and his teammates have done this season is inspire Bergy.

"All these guys, everyone in here, have gotten me excited to come back," said Bergeron. "They've done such a great job [and] gave me a chance.

"I am very thankful for the way they are playing and it makes me want to come back even more."
---
A late note: Krejci was just named the NHL's Third Star of the Week. JB

1:44 p.m.
Still thinking about the playoff picture. Need all the facts? Go to TSN.ca and their "The Final Stretch" section.

It includes the standings, points, wins and games remaining.

1:51 p.m.
Just got word, there ARE still some seats remaining for the B's last regular season home game on Saturday -- Fan Appreciation Day. But they are going fast!

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