After a season full of setbacks, the Bruins have finally clinched their place in the NHL playoffs.
The Bruins clinched their playoff spot in a humorous fashion; an overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues thirty seconds into the extra period. While most fans would be upset about a loss, Bruins fans were celebrating.
The lone goal was scored by Ryan Donato, who joined the team in St. Louis after attending his 9 a.m. class at Harvard earlier that day. Donato also scored in his first NHL game on Monday, which similarly ended with an overtime loss to the Colombus Blue Jackets.
The Bruins managed to clinch despite being without key players such as Torey Krug, Captain Zdeno Chara, Rick Nash, Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, and Jake DeBrusk.
At the start of the season, many fans doubted that the Bruins would be able to perform after the lackluster goaltending and frustrating injuries of the previous season. Earlier this season, I asked if the Bruins would be good enough (and healthy enough) to compete with the other teams in the Atlantic Division. The answer, as time has told, is yes.
The question now is will the Bruins try to stay healthy or go for home-ice advantage. First place would help the Bruins avoid a round one matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team they’ve only beaten once in eight meetings since Auston Matthew’s debut, and guarantee home ice for at least the first three rounds of the playoffs.
The Bruins are a team that’s proven to thrive on home ice. According to WEEI.com, the Bruins have gone 36-11-6 at home under Bruce Cassidy; not to mention the energy in the TD Garden come playoff time is absolutely electric. However, it might not be worth it if it risks more injuries for the team.