Giving Key Guys Rest is Vital to Boston Bruins’ Playoff Success
Hockey headlines are all reveling over the Boston Bruins‘ 10-game win streak. While a streak like that would be incredibly important for a team on the playoff bubble, it will only harm the Bruins in the long run.
Bruins fans remember last season. Things were looking good coming into the Stanley Cup Finals. Then, shortly into the Finals, everything unraveled. One key factor played into this: The Bruins are not made to last in a long series against a team like the Chicago Blackhawks. This factor needs to be taken into account by the Bruins and their fans ,especially since they will likely face the New York Rangers or Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs.
Throughout their 10-game win streak, the Bruins have performed incredibly well defensively. This type of play requires a lot of energy and can lead to injuries such as those sustained by Patrice Bergeron at the end of last season. In order to avoid having a depleted team heading into the playoffs, the Bruins need to slow down and take the losses with a grain of salt.
With 13 games left, the Bruins hold a 14-point lead in the Atlantic Division. Second place in the Atlantic belongs to the Tampa Bay Lightning who have just 12 games left to play, one fewer than the Bruins. Third place belongs to the Montreal Canadiens who have two games fewer than the Bruins left.
With that being said, the Bruins only need to win a maximum of five of their final 13 games in the event that the Lightning win their final 12 games. Given that the Lightning finishing the season on a 12-game win streak is highly unlikely, especially when eight of their 13 remaining opponents own a winning record, the Bruins are looking at a realistic requirement of winning two or three of their final 12 games in order to secure the title of Atlantic Division Champions.
Only needing to finish the season with a 2-10 or 3-9 record, it is time for the Bruins to calm down and give added rest to their key players such as Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla. This will aid the team moving into the playoffs in that they will be fresh, healthy and ready to go.