Looking at the Bruins last three games, it’s obvious that the Black & Gold are in for at least two, if not three, battles with very motivated teams working toward important playoff positioning.
And Boston, 2-7-1 in their last 10, needs to bring their A-game if they intend to show GM Peter Chiarelli that they, as a unit, belong on TD Banknorth Garden ice in 2007-08.
On Tuesday the Bruins play the Habs and for once, it might be the Bruins who can eliminate the Canadiens, or at least help eliminate Montreal, from playoff contention -- depending on the actions of the other players in the race.
On Sunday, James Mirtle, a writer for Toronto’s Globe and Mail, wrote in his hockey blog:
(It) should be noted that if Montreal does, in fact, go 2-0-1, they are guaranteed to get in. One of Toronto’s biggest problems may be their low win total, as that first tiebreaker will likely not fall to the Maple Leafs.
However, if the Bruins were to ’help’ the Habs to a week-starting loss on Tuesday, it would deliver a serious blow to their efforts to shore up the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Of this the Canadiens are wary. The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey writes today:
Canadiens forward Mike Johnson is like most of his teammates - he’s doing a lot of scoreboard watching as the Eastern Conference playoff race goes down to the wire. But, while the Canadiens are grateful for any help they can get, they are acutely aware their fate is in their own hands. "We have to win our games," Johnson said Saturday night after the Canadiens held on to the eighth - and final - playoff spot in the East with a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Johnson has said he hasn’t paid attention to statistics since he was a finance major at Bowling Green State University, but he said there’s one simple mathematical fact: "We have a playoff spot and if we keep winning, we’ll hold on to that spot."
Speaking of the Sabres, Mister Briere, Drury and Co. are looking to sew up first place in the ENTIRE NHL this week. And, looking below, we see that they are only one point behind Detroit with one game in hand for the President’s Trophy.