Boston Bruins Clinch The Atlantic Division


Mar 29, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Bruins celebrate after center

Patrice Bergeron

(37) goal during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This is turning into another magical season for the Boston Bruins. They were the first team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff birth, and with last night’s 4-2 road win over the Washington Capitals, they’re the first team in the NHL to clinch a division title. While it’s something for us fans to cheer about, the members of the team do little more than acknowledge the title (that will be adding another banner to the rafters of the TD Garden).

Even the Bruins head coach, Claude Julien didn’t really pay that information much mind last night. “I knew there was something that would happen if we won tonight,” said Julien postgame.  “But I found out now that we’ve clinched and that’s fine. Again, we’ve got an opportunity to do even more than that, so we’re just going to keep playing and the main thing is going to be about keeping our game at the level that we want it at.”

“Yeah, we sort of just keep checking them off,” said Johnson of the accolade. “For us though, we just worry about the games at hand, and the wins, and let everything else take care of itself.”

Chad Johnson‘s play is certainly certifying that. He’s currently 17-3-1-2 for the Boston Bruins, with a .926 save percentage, and a 2.04 goals against average. He compliments Tuukka Rask well, and it’s great to see the Bruins having two solid goaltenders in the crease as the regular season winds down. They’ll certainly cause massive frustration for whomever ends up as their first round opponent. (Currently, that burden falls on the Detroit Red Wings.

This division title was earned by the intelligence of Peter Chiarelli, and his willingness to go big with the deals when necessary. The acquisition of Jarome Iginla (who had his twelfth thirty goal season in last night’s win) has been the biggest feather in the B’s cap this season. Iginla has made Milan Lucic and David Krejci play better as a result (Krejci is on track to having one of his best seasons in his career, if not his best to date.), and the dividends have been impressive in Boston. The Krejci line has one hundred and seventy six points at this part of the season, and it’s quite possible they could eclipse the two hundred mark.

Chad Johnson was another solid choice for the Bruins, and he’s earned the respect of a vast majority of Bruins fans. The adding of Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter have also been boons for Boston. They came into the organization, and have become committed to the Claude Julien system (that has brought the Bruins to the post season every year he has coached them). The Bruins will take this chance to rest their key players (and we might even see the return of a few members of the Providence squad), and get ready for the playoffs.