Even if you still consider the Boston Bruins legitimate Stanley Cup contenders — and, yes, you probably should — you can’t deny the fact they had the worst record of each of the 16 playoff teams in their last 10 games of the regular season (3-5-2).
And as CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty points out, the last Boston victory over a playoff team came all the way back on April 2, when the B’s beat the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden.
The last time they beat a playoff team on the road was March 21, also against the Senators.
Not that the Bruins didn’t have excuses. The Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt forced two game postponements, not to mention all the anxiety.
And the B’s already had a busy last half of the shortened season on the schedule; they ended up playing 31 games in 59 days in March and April.
There were also injuries to key players, plus a handful of games where they outshot their opponents but just couldn’t finish on their chances.
“The last couple of games we’ve done some good things, and we’ve been more physical,” said B’s defenseman Johnny Boychuck. “We’ve had not as many turnovers at the blue line, which was a key. We had a lot of scoring chances. In playoffs we will make sure to put them in the net…and that’s the goal.”
Ready or not, Boston opens the playoffs Wednesday against the Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
Toronto, by the way, wasn’t exactly red-hot down the stretch either. The Leafs finished with four regulation losses in their last six and only managed to outshoot one of their final 13 opponents.