Axios Boston

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It's Tuesday. Hope you marathon spectators aren't too hoarse (or hungover) from cheering on the runners.

Today's weather: Sunny with temps in the mid-60s.

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Today's newsletter is 832 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🏒 The road to redemption

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."

Pass it on

2. 📉 Decline in homicides goes beyond Boston

Data: AH Datalytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Boston saw the largest drop in homicides of any major city in the first three months of 2024, according to an analysis by AH Datalytics.

  • But it's not the only major city where homicides have declined.

The big picture: This year's violent crime patterns could shed light on whether Boston's drop in homicides is a product of the city's violence prevention measures or part of a national trend.

State of play: Boston saw the largest drop in homicides of any major city in AH Datalytics' analysis, an Axios review found.

Catch up fast: Boston has only had two homicides so far this year, according to recently released police data.

  • Nilton Fernandes, 24, was killed in a New Year's Day shooting in Dorchester.
  • Aanya Vinay, 25, was killed in a murder-suicide at the Moxy hotel in February.

Yes, but: Several people have been injured in shootings, including a man who was shot in the chest in Dorchester this weekend, per NBC Boston.

Zoom out: Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami have also seen major drops in homicides as of early April.

  • Homicides are also down in New Haven, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island.

Keep reading: Boston poised to continue 2023 trend

3. 🔙 Back That Mass Up: Marathon edition

Another win for Marcel Hug. Photo: Lauren Owens Lambert/Anadolu via Getty Images

Switzerland's Marcel Hug crashed into a barrier after taking a turn too fast on the Boston Marathon course and still managed to win the men's wheelchair division at the Boston Marathon.

Some of the other winners on Marathon Monday:

  • England's Eden Rainbow-Cooper, women's wheelchair division
  • Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma, men's professional division
  • Kenya's Hellen Obiri, women's professional division for a second straight year
  • USA's Zachary Stinson, men's handcycle division for the third time
  • USA's Alicia Dana, women's handcycle division, also for the third time.

Spread the word

4. 🧐 Where's Townie? The Old John Hancock building

The tower of the Berkeley Building after the Sox won the ALC in 2007. Photo: David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Yesterday we asked where our mascot Townie had flapped off to.

  • She was, of course, atop the Berkeley Building – aka the Old John Hancock building – in the Back Bay.
  • Reader Harry P. was the first to answer correctly. Congrats, Harry!

5. 🎶 Hear, here! Boston-area concerts this week

Bad Bunny. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny hits the TD Garden's stage tomorrow night.

  • Cypress Hill comes to town Thursday and Norwegian star Girl in Red is playing tonight.

Tuesday

Norwegian indie-pop singer-songwriter Girl In Red plays at MGM Music Hall.

Wednesday

Vermont rockers Sir Chloe come to the Sinclair.

Latin pop and hip hop is one of the biggest genres in the world and Bad Bunny is its biggest star. He'll be at TD Garden and cheap seats are $200 and up.

Thursday

Texas metalcore band Kublai Khan Tx rocks the Paradise.

Rap legends Cypress Hill are going to make Roadrunner smell funny.

Country duo the Brothers Osborne play at MGM Music Hall.

Friday

A Great Big Pile Of Leaves — which is a Brooklyn three-piece and not yard waste — are at the Sinclair.

Saturday

Indie rock singer Taylor Acorn plays at Brighton Music Hall.

Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf brings his act to the Paradise.

The Mary Wallopers bring their flavor of contemporary Irish folk music to the Middle East.

Monday

The Beta Band's Steve Mason plays a solo show at Brighton Music Hall.

See the full list

Deehan forgot how amazing living near the beach is when it's in the 70s.

Steph enjoyed the "Fallout" TV series.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.