NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
The Boston Bruins are no longer in control of their own destiny. If both Detroit and Philadelphia take care of their own business, the Bruins will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Boston is two points behind Detroit for third in the Atlantic Division, but the Wings have won two more games in regulation/overtime. The Bruins and Flyers are tied for the final Wild Card spot. Boston has one more regulation/overtime win than Philadelphia, but the Flyers have a game in hand.
Even if they don’t control their own destiny, a win against the Red Wings on Thursday night would help increase Boston’s playoff odds significantly.
“It’s an exciting time of year, and it’s do-or-die,” said Bruins forward Matt Beleskey, per CSN New England. “We’re going to take it one step at a time, and I think we are an excited group. We’ve talked about finish. We’ve had opportunities and I think guys are squeezing a little hard. You just need to play our game, and get the emotion going, get the [Garden] going and hopefully that will be what we need to get it done.”
The Bruins are in this position because they’ve completely collapsed over the last few weeks. Boston’s won just three of their last 12 contests.
As for Detroit, things couldn’t be going much better.
The Red Wings have won seven of their last 10 contests including last night’s huge 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I said it to the guys after that game that I think this was our best game and certainly the best game our forwards have played,” defenseman Kyle Quincey after the win over the Flyers, per MLive.com. “It made our job very, very easy.
“Everything just kind of went our way tonight. When it didn’t, Jimmy (Howard) made some big saves.”
Howard is a big reason why Detroit’s been able to get their season back on the rails. After being relegated to backup duty for most of the season, Howard’s been able to string together several solid performances in crucial games over the last few weeks. The 32-year-old’s won four of his last five outings and he’s given up two goals or less in each of those games.
The Bruins can’t be eliminated from playoff contention tonight, but if they lose to Detroit and Philadelphia takes down Toronto, their odds of making the postseason will shrink to almost nothing.
A win would allow Detroit to clinch a playoff spot.