There are times when the Boston Bruins have looked downright unstoppable. Saturday serves as a harsh reminder that things can change in a heartbeat, or at least that the threat is basically always hovering.
Consider this: earlier today, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Bruins were becoming frontrunners to trade for Rick Nash. Such a deal is still plausible, although John Shannon (also of Sportsnet) reports that Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit could cause some challenges, even this late in the season.
Either way, the Bruins’ outlook seemed shiny: they’re already a tough team to deal with thanks to an absolutely bear (sorry) of a top line in Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. The B’s have been so impressive, they even seem to be a threat to win the Atlantic.
(UPDATE: Nash has been dealt to the Bruins.)
Things went sour in multiple categories hours later.
The Bruins lost to their hated rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-3. That game ended in regulation, and the decisive goal brought about everyone’s favorite hockey thing: a goalie interference review. This didn’t go in Boston’s favor, and while some shrugged their shoulders, Tuukka Rask wasn’t thrilled:
With that, the Atlantic Division thing seems far less promising. To start, the Lightning managed a 4-3 shootout win. Even worse, the Maple Leafs took second place in the Atlantic by beating Boston.
If that wasn’t enough, the most integral part of the Bruins’ dominance is in danger. Reporters including NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty noted that Patrice Bergeron was seen in a walking boot:
On the bright side, all three situations could still turn out nicely for the Bruins.
- The Bruins might actually be more justified in going after Nash if Bergeron’s a little banged up. Granted, a more severe injury might leave them more conservative at the deadline.
- Games in hand make optimism easier to come by in the Atlantic positioning races. The Lightning have 87 points in 62 games played while the Maple Leafs are at 83 in 64. The Bruins are at 82, yet with only 59 games played, there’s plenty of time for the B’s to either regain home-ice advantage over Toronto or even push for the top spot in the division.
- As you can see from Haggerty’s tweet, Bergeron’s issue might not be too bad, either.
So, this isn’t a doom and gloom situation for the Bruins, but it still stands to mention how bumpy things became for at least a while there. The B’s have to hope that most of this stuff sorts itself out, Nash or not.