The NHL has just announced what the their plans for the rest of this season and the post season will look like, and the good news is, it won’t be much longer before we are watching Canada’s favorite pastime again.
Due to the overwhelming global pandemic, the league has decided to move right into the playoffs starting with a few months of team skating/practices before 24 teams will gear up for post season action.
The top four teams in each conference will battle in a round robin style to establish the seeding for the real deal playoff format. The remaining teams who have not previously secured their spot before the season shut-down will go head-to-head to narrow down the list to 16 teams.
The Bruins have nothing to worry about as they will not be going anywhere before the official playoff teams have earned their positions into the elimination rounds.
The Bruins have worked incredibly hard this year to secure the number one spot in the league before the hiatus with several players winning end of the year awards.
David Pastrnak is the co-winner of the Rocket Richard trophy with 48 goals on the season and our goal tending duo (Tuukka Rask and Jaro Halak) earned the William M. Jennings trophy for allowing the fewest goals of any team. The Bruins also won the President’s trophy.
Though they were on fire before the break, that doesn’t mean the Bruins will be perfectly fine tuned when play resumes.
The Bruins are lead by veterans Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask – it’s been this way for years now, and the the Bruins notably have a “players lockeroom” . The leadership core have competed in multiple Stanley Cup finals with a victory under their belt in 2011. Some of them could definitely use the time off, but not all the B’s will benefit from this much rest.
Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask will probably benefit the most from the break due to their reoccurring groin issues. Not to mention the goalies in general. Halak and Rask have put everything they had into the regular season helping the team secure a place in the post season, as well as a victory as the top goaltender tandem in the league.
David Krecji would also benefit greatly from the rest. He has had a number of injuries these past few years and has now finally been able to relax his body.
In my opinion, Brandon Carlo, more than anyone, deserved time off for his efforts this year. He and Chara solely carried the defense. Carlo definitely had his best year yet and will be well rested to fight for that Cup.
However, players like Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase might be in for a rude awakening come August. Those guys were just traded to the team at the deadline. The transition was super fast and there was always work to be done before the break. Now, things have slowed down significantly, especially for the newly acquired players. Understandably, they are very experienced athletes so hopefully they will come back strong and ready to assert themselves right back into the action.
It is clear to the veterans in the Bruins sweaters that there time is now. They do not have 10 more years to figure things out. If they want another cup before they retire, they need to strike now because the window is closing.
The face of this team will be changing before we know it. Fingers crossed for a dominate post season effort and for another chance at victory.