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Upward Mobility

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Bruins look to get into playoff contention

In their last 10 games the Bruins are 6-4-0, the same as Montreal and Ottawa, just a little worse than the Maple Leafs, who are 6-3-1, and well, even though Buffalo is "only" 7-2-1 in their last 10, the Sabres had such an amazing start that their 19 wins virtually guarantees them first place in the division if not the conference -- they lead the East with 40 points, eight more than Atlanta, and continue to win routinely.

The Bruins have only played 21 games, and although Head Coach Dave Lewis says that matters only if you win those contests, the Bruins do have the ability to slingshot into contention with another mildly hot streak.

All of the teams ahead of the Bruins have played at least 22 games, with division rivals Ottawa and Toronto already playing 25. Conference rivals Pittsburgh, NY Islanders and New Jersey have also played 22 -- the same as Northeast neighbor, Montreal.

All this means that the Bruins have a serious shot at getting into, at least, the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot -- assuming, of course, that they can win those games in hand and continue to improve their winning percentage.

Take a look at the division standings for yourself:

 Northeast GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Road L10 Â
 Buffalo 24 19 3 2 40 105 71 8-2-2 11-1-0 7-2-1 Â
 Toronto 25 13 8 4 30 87 79 6-5-2 7-3-2 6-3-1 Â
 Montreal 22 13 6 3 29 68 61 6-3-2 7-3-1 6-4-0 Â
 Ottawa 24 11 12 1 23 81 70 4-6-0 7-6-1 6-4-0 Â
 Boston 21 10 9 2 22 58 74 6-5-1 4-4-1 6-4-0 Â

Fallen Leafs?
I did not detect any quit in the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and while the Bruins had the emotional advantage, the Maple Leafs made it a really close game -- really close.

Thank goodness for Brad Boyes’ late marker in the third.

Anyway, My dad called me yesterday and told me to take a look at some of the news stories from above the border. The Toronto newspapers did not see it the way I saw it and had some interesting takes on the Bruins win over the Leafs on Saturday.

Headlines like "Sundin back, Leafs AWOL" and "Spark, but no fire at all" and "Leafs go limp with Sundin back in fold" were the norm as Leafs nation was apparently a little bit perturbed that the Bruins had "surprised" the Leafs.

In any case, if I were a Toronto fan, I would not jump off the bandwagon quite yet. That is a good team up there in the Air Canada Centre -- the game before the tilt with the B’s, the Leafs had smoked Washington 7-1, so Boston better be ready to play on Tuesday.

In any case, that was quite a turnaround for the Black & Gold, whose spirits were downright subterranean after their loss to Carolina last Friday.

I wonder what was said in that team meeting?

If there is another meeting before tomorrow night, one thing that someone might want to remind the Bruins is how surprised everyone in Toronto was that they actually showed up to play.

That’s kind’ve disrespectful towards Our Boys, don’t you think?

Thems fightin’ words
A couple quotes of note, Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun wrote that Darcy Tucker, who lost a one round decision with Paul Mara after Tucker came out of the parking lot to hit B’s captain Zdeno Chara and then cross checked Marc Savard, had this to say about Savvy, who, admittedly tapped Tucker on the leg prior to the cross check:

"That’s par for the course for him" Tucker said. "I don’t know where he was hiding after that. Under the bench, probably."

This morning Tucker told Mike Zeisberger, also of the Toronto Sun, that "Mara will have his chance if he wants it early in the next game. He can have his chance if I’m rested. If he thinks he’s going to try to fight battles like that, he can have his opportunity next time he comes in early in the game."

Hmmm. Should be a pretty good one tomorrow in T.O. eh?

Ok, off to practice.
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