The Boston Bruins will take this season’s frustrations to a whole new level if they don’t take advantage of a four-game stretch against teams currently not in a playoff position.
That stretch starts tonight in New Jersey. The B’s then return home for games against Arizona, Calgary, and Philadelphia.
Given the Devils and Flyers still feel they can catch the Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, those two contests in particular take on even more importance.
The B’s are coming off a 2-1 home loss to Vancouver in which they arguably deserved better. Boston finished with 41 shots to the Canucks’ 28, and Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack was named first star for good reason.
“I think that the only thing we talk about here is pretty simple: It’s not the offense; it’s the lack of finish,” coach Claude Julien said.
In fact, based on puck-possession metrics, the Bruins have actually been playing extremely well lately. In their last five games — only one of which they won (6-2 in Chicago) — they’ve had the best score-adjusted Fenwick in the NHL. Hence, GM Peter Chiarelli’s assertion prior to the Vancouver game that he was seeing some “promising signs” from his team.
Obviously, those “promising signs” have to start translating into wins — especially with the Florida Panthers (now featuring Jaromir Jagr!) just two points back and hosting last-place Buffalo Saturday.