Well, that game was… strange. The Blackhawks put 4 of 22 shots past Tuukka Rask, who gave way to Jonas Gustavsson in the net after that. The Hawks were up 6-0 heading to the end of the 2nd period, but the Bruins scored twice in the final 16 seconds of the period and then twice more in the 3rd. With about 10 minutes to go and down a pair of goals, we all honestly thought that they had a good chance of winning.
Alas, it didn’t happen, and the B’s sit a point back of Detroit in the playoff standings. Furthermore, they’re a game back in the ROW column to the Red Wings, but that fact isn’t as bad as you think. If the Bruins are to make up a point on the Red Wings and tie them after 82 games, it’ll likely come from the Bruins winning a game that the Red Wings lose in overtime. As long as that win for the Bruins isn’t a shootout win, they’ll get right back to even in the ROW column.
The Bruins’ and Red Wings’ schedule for the final 3 games of the season is quite favorable to Boston. The Red Wings are enjoying a long break from Saturday night through Wednesday, but then they play the Flyers on their home ice. The Bruins do not play Wednesday, as they’ll host the Hurricanes on Tuesday in a game that is the definition of “must win.” On Thursday, the Red Wings come to Boston without the day of rest that the B’s will have. On Saturday, the Bruins host the Senators, who obviously have zero to play for except being a Bruins spoiler (actually, for the Sens, that’s a great reason to play hard), while the Red Wings finish the season in MSG. The Rangers likely will have to care about the game to either avoid falling to the Wild Card spot behind the Islanders or to usurp the Penguins for home ice in the 1st round.
Both of the ‘other’ teams that the Red Wings face, the Flyers and Rangers, are way better than the Bruins’ ‘other’ teams, the Hurricanes and Senators. The B’s also host that pivotal Thursday game vs. Detroit. Finally, in the previous 3 games that the B’s and Wings have played against each other, Boston has earned 4 points to Detroit’s 3. Even if the B’s were to lose in overtime to the Wings, they’d be tied at 5 points in both of those games, which sends the playoff spot to the next tiebreaker if they’re tied in points, ROW, and points in head to head games. The Bruins would then get the final playoff spot because their goal differential is far superior to the Red Wings’.
Thanks to the Bruins somehow winning in St. Louis, they’re in a much better spot than you think. Given how much of an enigma this team is, maybe it’s not good for the Bruins to be in a good place, but I’m feeling pretty confident about the Bruins getting the 3rd playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.