As I write this, the Bruins just knocked off the Minnesota Wild in their tour of the Midwest. The play the Detroit Red WIngs tomorrow at 3:30 on NBC, and I couldn’t be more stoked to have Doc Emrick for such a huge Bruins game.
There are 3 other Eastern Conference teams that the Bruins, who sit at 66 points in 55 games played with 26 ROW, have to measure themselves against. The Lightning (64-54-28) and Red Wings (65-55-27) will duke it out with the Bruins for the 2nd and 3rd playoff spots in the Atlantic Division, and the Penguins (63-54-26) will battle for the 1st or 2nd Wild Card spot. Given that I don’t see any of the Devils, Hurricanes, Flyers, Canadiens, or Senators jumping any of the teams (unless Carey Price comes back and stands on his head, which is a possibility), I’m most concerned with the Bruins staying ahead of the Penguins. The difference between having to go to Florida and Washington in the 1st round rests on the order of the 2 Wild Card teams.
The Red Wings also present an important challenge for the rest of the season, of course, and Sunday’s game may wind up making a vital difference in playoff seeding. The Red Wings didn’t have a game today, and they should beat the Bruins at home with an extra day of rest. But that would make a Bruins win all the more important and impressive.
The NFL season is over and the NBA has a week off, so if you haven’t been able to jump into the NHL season and the Bruins yet, this is the weekend to get engaged. We’ll look back on these 2 games — in particular the NBC Red Wings game tomorrow — as season-altering.