Boston Bruins: Back-to-backs make for a challenging month ahead

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12: The giant Bs flag makes its way around the arena. During Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals featuring the Boston Bruins against the St. Louis Blues on June 12, 2019 at TD Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12: The giant Bs flag makes its way around the arena. During Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals featuring the Boston Bruins against the St. Louis Blues on June 12, 2019 at TD Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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This month started for the Boston Bruins with the second game of a back-to-back and it’s a trend that’ll continue the whole month.

Looking at the Boston Bruins upcoming schedule, it’s hard to overlook the fact that four times (five including the Jets and Wild fixtures) this month, they must play two nights in a row. By comparison, January had just one (two including the Jets/Wild) back-to-back pair of fixtures.

You could argue that we had it coming to us given October and December only had one. November had three, so that’s the closest comparison. Either way, it’s fair to say that fixtures have been stockpiled and all dumped upon us at once.

Now obviously, there’s no conspiracy or anything, it’s just the way that the NHL scheduling panned out, but I’d have preferred to have two back-to-back pairs of games in every month as opposed to suddenly hitting four towards the important end of the season.

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You only need look at the fact we only took all 4 points just the once in November when we faced this level of fixture congestion to know that the threat of Tampa Bay catching us in the standings is going to get very real.

Examining the exact fixtures, you might draw the conclusion that we don’t have it so bad, but if we were to see an injury to the likes of David Pastrnak or Patrice Bergeron, suddenly it becomes an absolute nightmare. What might usually be one missed game easily becomes two with back-to-back fixtures.

Anyhow, it’s Vancouver coming to town on February 4th before we head to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on February 5th. Both are fixtures that hold potential for a slip-up for your Boston Bruins.

You might also note that these fixtures give us two days recuperation following the Minnesota game. That’s all well and good, but could actually end up biting us; it’s not enough to really have a true rest but given the recovery from a back-to-back, also isn’t enough to have a truly decent training session.

The next back-to-back in February sees the Arizona Coyotes, who despite having Phil Kessel and Taylor Hall for goals, are struggling a bit lately, come to town. We then hop on a flight to Detroit, to face a Red Wings side that should gift-wrap the two points for us.

On February 15th, it’s that same Detroit team visiting us before we head to Madison Square Garden the next day, to face a New York Rangers team that on any given day can pull off a result. They’ve taken us to overtime once this year, but equally we beat them 7-4 on the other encounter.

Finally, the road-trip across Western Canada toward the end of the month will be the last of the back-to-back fixtures, at least until Buffalo and Toronto in mid-March. Edmonton is the stop on the Wednesday followed by Calgary on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday.

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It certainly looks like this will be an unforgiving month ahead for the Boston Bruins.