Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 2
No Marc Savard, no Chuck Kobasew, no problem. The Bruins earned a 4-2 victory Thursday night to sweep a home and home series with the Maple Leafs, improving their playoff hopes and officially ending the Leafs’. The Bruins were once again impressive on offense without Savard and Kobasew, getting goals from Glen Murray, Phil Kessel, Marco Sturm and Peter Schaefer. David Krejci also added two assists for his second straight two point game.
Now this is the way playoff hockey teams play. The Bruins have been on fire this week and now sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are just three points behind Ottawa, New Jersey and New York in the ever-so-tight Eastern Conference. (Ottawa comes to Boston Saturday).
This is exciting to all Bruins fans, because we are so very close to seeing playoff hockey again for the first time since that dreadful collapse to Montreal in 2004. The very thought of the Bruins being in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s cup is enough to get all the hockey fans here in Boston absolutely giddy. With the way they are playing come season's end, we have every right to be.
Everyone always talks about teams getting hot at the right times. Take the New York Giants or Colorado Rockies of recent memory. The Giants smoked Buffalo on the road in Week 16 but then lost a nail biter to the Pats in Week 17. However, this loss was viewed by many as a moral victory and confidence booster for the Giants. The Rockies won something ridiculous like 21 out of 23 to end their season and rode the hot streak right into the Fall Classic before being swept by the Red Sox.
The Bruins have all the signs of pulling off a similar run as they near the end of their season. After a tough 3-2 shootout loss in Montreal, the Bruins seemed to gain a lot of confidence that carried over into Toronto Tuesday night by earning a win, then winning again Thursday night, both times without two of their top scorers.
The way the offense is playing, along with the solid defense and strong penalty kill/power play, and not to mention the recent play of Tim Thomas (30 saves Thursday), the Bruins look to have themselves geared towards a strong finish and a strong playoff run.
With five games left in the regular season, three of which are versus teams currently above the Bruins in the standings (Ottawa twice and New Jersey), we should get a good teaser as to what playoff hockey feels like in Boston again. Let’s just hope they continue to play strong, and we can experience the real thing come April.