Apr 16, 2024 - News

Entering the Bruins' postseason with cautious optimism

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (#63) shoots the puck during the third period in the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins went on to beat the Penguin, killing Pittsburgh's chances of reaching the playoffs.

Bruins left wing Brad Marchand shoots the puck during the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday. Photo: Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bruins enter the playoffs this weekend, though perhaps with less fanfare than last year. But fans have a reason to be cautious.

Why it matters: The Bruins have a chance to redeem themselves after last year's upset knockout from the postseason.

Flashback: Everything had fallen into place for the B's in their first year led by Jim Montgomery.

  • The team set new NHL records in 2023 for the most victories (64) and points (135). It had won the Presidents' Trophy.
  • Its stellar season went up in flames in the first round of the playoffs as the team lost to the Florida Panthers.
  • The Panthers lost the championship to the Las Vegas Golden Knights (led by ex-Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, of all people).

State of play: The Bruins remain in first in the Atlantic Division after last night's loss to the Washington Capitals.

  • The Bruins play the Ottawa Senators tonight.

Zoom out: The playoff brackets will take shape later this week as the regular season wraps up, based on the top three teams in each division.

  • Joining the Bruins in the East are the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • In the West, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have clinched a spot in the playoffs, along with the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators.

Between the lines: The B's head to the playoffs without any new records or awards, but the players say they are focused.

  • "We played a lot of really good teams lately," captain Brad Marchand told Boston.com this weekend after the B's win over Pittsburgh.
  • "It's a great opportunity for us to continue to improve our game and really get dialed in for what comes ahead."
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