The Bruins clinched a playoff spot this season with their win over the Senators Friday night, but in doing so came nowhere near finalizing their first round opponent. In the wild world of the new NHL, in which points in the standings are easier to come by than nationally televised games, the medium-sized, somewhat bad, Bruins can finish anywhere from 5th to 8th depending on tomorrow’s results.
Just for fun, here are the four scenarios for each possible seed:
#5: The Bruins beat the Sabres and the Rangers lose to the Devils. Boston and New York end the season with identical records, but Boston won the season series 3-1 so it claims the tiebreaker.
#6: Boston ties Buffalo and Philadelphia loses against Pittsburgh or Boston beats Buffalo, Philadelphia wins against the Penguins, and the Rangers earn at least one point against the Devils.
#7: The B’s lose and Philly loses in regulation or in OT/SO, tying the two teams, but once again Boston wins the tiebreaker with a 3-1 season record against the cheap-shot artists from Eaglelandia.
#8: The Bruins lose in regulation or later and Philly wins.
The best (likely) scenario finds the Bruins taking the #5 seed and matching up with the New Jersey Devils, whose Hall-of-Fame goalie slept with his sister-in-law, against which the B’s finished the season 1-1-2. The other scenarios involve the white hot Ovechkins of the District of Columbia/Florida Panthers (both were 1-2-1 versus the B’s this season), the Montreal Canadiens, who absolutely murdered the B’s all year long, going 8-0 against Boston, or the top rated Penguins (1-2-1 against Boston–but I never want to face a team with a power play front line of Crosby, Malkin, and Hossa).
While a matchup with Florida is certainly still possible–and ideal–I find it hard to believe that the one man force that is Alexander The Great will allow his team to lose in regulation at home against the lame duck Panthers. My best guess: see you in Jersey next week some time.