BRIGHTON – Now that the Bruins have clinched their playoff spot, it’s time to get a little greedy.
The Black and Gold still have two home games remaining on the regular season schedule, and both seeding in the Atlantic Division bracket and home ice advantage in the first round remain within their immediate grasp. If the Bruins win out and both the Leafs and Senators lose any more games in regulation then the B's would finish ahead of both teams with the tiebreaker advantage against each of them, and secure home ice in the first round.
In fact it actually feels like the Bruins are a team that nobody in the East, aside from the Washington Capitals perhaps, wants to face in the first round after they ripped off their sixth win in a row on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay.
Sure the Bruins have yet to beat either the Maple Leafs or Senators during the regular season, but the majority of those contests were played in the first 55 games of the season under Claude Julien. Now the Black and Gold have gone an outstanding 18-7-0 in 25 games under Bruce Cassidy, and have a healthy amount of swagger to their game.
“It’s more about how we’re playing right now, and playing to our standard while continuing our winning ways going into the playoffs,” said Cassidy, matter-of-factly.
Clearly it will be a little more challenging with Brad Marchand suspended for the final two games as well, but they’re also catching an Ottawa Senators team on Thursday night that won’t have Hart Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson in the lineup either.
“It would be nice. It always makes a big difference if you play that deciding game in the playoffs on the road, or at home,” said Zdeno Chara. “It’s something that we can use as motivation that we’re still playing for something important, especially at this time of the year. With only a few games left in the year we want to make sure that we’re playing a certain way going into the playoffs. We want to still be moving forward…always moving forward.”
Chara doesn’t even mention the fact that the Bruins are 11-3-0 in 14 home dates under Bruce Cassidy since the coaching change, and have become an extremely difficult team to play against again at TD Garden