Boston, MA -- If the Flyers beat the Rangers tonight the Boston Bruins will clinch a playoff berth.
But after several weeks of playing at a playoff-style pace, will the B's change up their approach if their path to the Stanley Cup tournament is clarified?
The biggest mistake is for [the B's intensity] to be lessened, I think," said Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien after today's practice in Wilmington's Ristuccia Arena. "Two points guarantees us a playoff spot.
"But those two games coming up, Carolina, just watching last night against Montreal, they’re playing well. They’re playing loose obviously and they’re playing well. They got a pretty good goaltender that keeps them in the game.
"So I don’t think anything is a given. We got the opportunity to watch a game tonight that may or may not give us the answer that we want," he said.
Julien prefers, instead, to focus -- not only on making the playoffs -- but also on improving the club's standing in the Eastern Conference.
"So it’s a matter of sticking with it," continued Julien. "[It's] not just the fact that you get into the playoffs, but where do you want to be in that situation.
"We’ve got an opportunity right now to be anywhere from sixth to ninth. We have to recognize that and try and win as many games as we can.
"To me, it’s a matter of where do you want to finish? You’re finishing eighth and going the last two games, or do you want to try finish as high as sixth, which is what we have the opportunity to do. It’s something that you got to keep in mind here," said .
However, should the B's clinch, the coaching staff will look at the roster and decide if anyone needs some time.
"A lot of things come into consideration as far as the players and what it means," said Julien. "Nobody wants to go into the playoffs with more injuries than we have right now.
"At the same time, you still got to get in and you still got to try and be in the best spot possible. So you kind of got to weigh those factors and make decisions."
From NHL.com... EASTERN CONFERENCE #6 Boston Bruins (idle) would clinch a playoff berth... * if the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers #7 Montreal Canadiens (idle) would clinch a playoff berth... * if the New York Rangers lose (in regulation or overtime/shootout) to the Philadelphia Flyers #8 Philadelphia Flyers would clinch a playoff berth... * if they defeat the New York Rangers