Boston Bruins: Losing Top Seeding Makes A Mockery Of NHL Restart

Boston Bruins (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images) /

The Boston Bruins, in any normal year, would’ve entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs with all the possible benefits of being the top regular season side.

Instead, due to the NHL’s determination to create a ‘fairer’ playing field when it comes to the ‘Return To Play’, the Boston Bruins will now no longer reap the rewards of being the most consistent over 70 (ish) games.

As a result of the round-robin tournament that the NHL dreamed up to give the best teams some competitive action whilst the play-in series occur, we’ll likely be seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference.

That means, should they manage to turn it around against the Montreal Canadiens, we could face Sidney Crosby and his fifth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Of course, there’s easy recourse to this argument that the round-robin tournament is unfair to the Boston Bruins. Not least the fact that to win the Stanley Cup, you’re going to have to play the strongest teams along the way anyway.

That’s not really the point. This post-season hasn’t been put together haphazardly, but has failed to properly take into account the regular-season that was just played.

In fact, this play-off season might as well be an all-new season unto itself. It bears little relevance to the regular season results given how long ago that now seems. Calling us the favorites now seems almost absurd.

This opinion might seem contrite and tied to the fact that the Boston Bruins simply haven’t been able to get the job done in their round-robin games and yes, that has some bearing on it.

However, it’s always not been the perfect system when it comes to fairness. That a team finishing 24th, that were closer to a first overall draft pick than the play-offs, might end up knocking out the fifth seed seems a little hard to swallow.

Maybe though, these complaints are all for nothing and these early losses only serve to help the Boston Bruins fortify for their upcoming play-off battles.

Maybe in fact, not having the President’s Trophy winner tag and the first-place seeding that goes with it actually serves to be an advantage.

Right now, it’s hard to look past repeated lackluster performances on the ice, but maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Maybe coming dead-last in our round-robin will actually serve as the perfect locker-room statement, to be stuck on the wall, as a reminder to bring it every night.