Boston Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot in Win Over Lightning on Tuesday
It took three seasons, but the Bruins are finally back in the playoffs. After failing to qualify for the postseason in each of the last two tries, the Bruins’ were able to clinch their ticket to the playoffs Tuesday in a regulation win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins played hard and Tuukka Rask stood on his head, but the Bruins ultimately locked themselves into a playoff spot and now look to bolster their position in the standings with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators as their direct competition in the Atlantic Division.
The game wasn’t all good for the Bruins, however. Despite clinching the playoffs, the Bruins may have lost their best offensive threat for a few games as Brad Marchand was ejected from the game in the first period. After being shoved away from the Lightning’s crease by defenseman Jake Dotchin, Marchand retaliated with a spear between his legs. The play resulted in a five-minute major penalty to Marchand – which Drew Stafford served, as well as a game misconduct to No. 63.
It isn’t clear if the Bruins will lose Marchand to suspension or not, but regardless, the stint of losing Marchand will hurt less knowing that the team is returning to the playoffs. This isn’t to say that Marchand should be off the hook from his coach and teammates. If he happens to make a play like that and gets lost for any playoff games, the Bruins will be in a very tough situation.
Taking It All in Stride
For now, the only certainty for the Bruins is a guaranteed spot in the postseason. All they know is they’ll be playing beyond the 82nd game of the year this season for the first time in three years, and they will also finally break the trend of drafting with the 14th overall spot this season – as long as they don’t make a trade, that is.
The last time the Bruins made the playoffs came during the 2013-14 season. They made quick work of the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, winning in five games before falling to the Montreal Canadiens in seven. The team will be hoping that they can return to their playoff form that they displayed in 2011 and 2013 when they qualified for the Stanley Cup – winning in 2011 and losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. The Bruins season will last longer than it has in recent years – something that every Bruin fan can appreciate.