It seems a weird question to ask of a team with 89 points and six games to play. It seems weirder when Boston’s recent history of success is taken into account. But it is a genuine question.
How in the world are the Bruins still in this thing?
Blame the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa, are you serious? When you beat San Jose last Monday, it put you in a spot you had been chasing for weeks, months, years even – you finally overtook the Bruins.
That was it. You got to the home stretch of the season. The Bruins have been terrible for long stretches this year. Even if they somehow figured it out, you had the edge.
You blew it.
Since that win over the Sharks, you have lost three straight games, picking up one point in the process. You did not deserve that point, either. Ottawa, you were beating Toronto 2-0 after the second period. They were your playthings.
Then you let Tyler Bozak score three times in the third. Lucky you got that power play goal to force overtime and get the point, especially since the Bruins look competent again.
It makes it so much worse when you look at all the chances you had to save yourselves. You are one-for-12 on the power play during this losing streak, and you have given up three goals on eight power plays. Seriously?
After losing six games in a row – three in overtime – to surrender their hold on eighth place to Ottawa, the Bruins clicked into gear over the weekend. After destroying Henrik Lundqvist in his return to the Rangers, the Bruins went to Carolina and picked up two massive points in overtime.
Four points in two games has put Boston back in eight, now by three points with six games left for the Bruins. Ottawa has seven.
And if Ottawa cannot handle late-season games against Toronto and Florida, how are the Senators supposed to handle these final seven, which include games against the Rangers, Red Wings, Lightning and Penguins?
The Bruins are a little better off. With that three-point edge and what looks to be a shred of confidence, Boston will face Florida twice and Toronto once. Fifty percent of the Bruins’ remaining schedules should provide six guaranteed points. The rest of the schedule – road games at Detroit, Washington and Tampa Bay – could be tough. However, the Bruins have taken 10 of 14 possible points from the Red Wings and Lightning this year. It also helps the Bruins that they have a knack for picking up the cheap points, going to overtime in 35 percent of their games this season.
Everything is lining up for the Bruins to make the playoffs, and it exceeds belief.
When Daenerys Targaryen seeks help to save Drogo in “Game of Thrones,” she is warned that “only death may pay for life” by Mirri Maz Duur.
The death of the Senators has paid for the life of Bruins.