Nothing has gone right for the Boston Bruins this year, and things only got worse around the trade deadline.
Bruins fans woke up to exciting news March 2, when Boston acquired Brett Connolly from the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was the move the Bruins needed to make. The missing cog all year had been a first-line right wing. Nothing they tried worked. David Pastrnak is not ready for the first-line role permanently, and Loui Eriksson is doing well in his role.
Connolly was the guy, but he will not be able to make his debut until possibly the playoffs. The second day he skated with Boston in practice, he fractured his finger. Something was finally going to go right for the Bruins, but the hockey gods had other plans.
Or did they?
Even without Connolly, the Bruins look to be heating up at the right time. Saturday and Sunday were busy days in Boston. The Bruins came from behind to beat the Flyers in overtime Saturday before beating Detroit Sunday.
With four points over the weekend, the Bruins reinforced their lead for the final wild card spot in the East, going four points clear of the Panthers with a game in hand.
Even without Connolly and David Krejci, both out injured, Boston seems to be figuring it out.
However, there is a lot of work to do, still.
The Bruins cannot wait for Connolly and Krejci to come back to really get going. They cannot be satisfied with simply getting into the playoffs after the dreadful start to the season. Eighth place is the worst possible situation for Boston.
That would put the Bruins in the path of the Montreal Canadiens.
There is nothing better than a Bruins-Canadiens playoff series. It always promises to be amazing. But Boston fans should be hoping that a matchup of the two biggest rivals in sports is put on hold until at least the second round.
Though it has been 22 years, Montreal might actually be in contention to win the Stanley Cup. No team in the NHL has been better in the Eastern Conference this season. Goaltender Carey Price could be the Hart Trophy winner. They have all the tools necessary to win it all.
If the Bruins cannot move up out of the second wild card spot, they will be out of the playoffs in four games, maybe five. They simply do not match up with the Canadiens. Montreal swept the season series 4-0. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask only has three career wins over the Canadiens in 19 chances.
When Krejci and Connolly come back, the Bruins have the chance to take off. If they can get past a team like the Islanders in the first round, they can gain some momentum and possibly knock out Montreal.
But if it is a first-round bout with the Canadiens, it could be over fast.