By Matthew Cunha
Well, well, well, 10 days ago the Boston Bruins were a dying topic. A team slowly falling out of playoff contention, and a complete non-story. 10 days later, everything has changed. The Bruins have since controversially fired their coach, won 3 games in a row, beat their rival on home ice for the first time in a while, and then watched as their ex-coach signed with said rival. Needless to say, the fire in this team has been relit. A Bangor sports talk show has a reason to talk about this team again.
The recent hoopla surrounding the Bruins is encouraging for any diehard Bruins fan such as myself. However, it is a waste if the Boston Bruins cannot sustain their upward trend in play under new head coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins have gone on upward trends of play before the past two and half years, and instantly fallen back in a rut but this recent trend has felt different.
These last 3 games under Cassidy, it looked as though the B’s were a loose team letting their skill shine. The defensive restraint commonly put on the Bruins players was gone. The Bruins offensively skilled players were no longer afraid to make a play. The defensive core no longer feared their benching when trying to make a play for the offense. What happened as a result? 13 goals in 3 games, 4 by defencemen, a team flying up and down the ice over teams (including the Habs), a barrage of breathtaking goals by the Bruins most skilled players, and three much needed wins.
All of this has given me hockey fever for the first time in 2 and a half years. I’m thirsting for a playoff series drenched in hate and heart wrenching overtimes. The last two years, my life has suffered from not being able to watch a NHL playoff series. Even if the B’s aren’t going anywhere, I am desperate to see this team back in the playoffs. I feel as though I have been abstaining from Mike DeVito’s Thursday pizza day for three years and as soon as the Bruins make the playoffs again, I can have some.
The unfortunate part is the Bruins still have an upward climb towards the playoffs. The mandated week off could not have come at a worse time for the black and gold. All momentum could be gone by the time the Bruins head out West to play the Sharks. The standings also do not look promising for the Bruins. The B’s currently sit in the third and final playoff spot in the Atlantic only 1 point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs who have three games in hand. In the Wild Card, the B’s have 3 points on the Flyers who have 2 games in hand, and 4 on the Islanders who have 3 games in hand. Basic math would have the Bruins on the outside looking in.
My money would have the Bruins coming up short once again because I don’t think the Bruins have the talent to sustain a run with 24 games left. However, a run looks one thousand times more likely than it did 10 days ago and boy am I dying for them to go on that run. I am clinging to any hope that Bruce Cassidy’s boys can somehow pull a magic trick out of their hat and make the playoffs. Do that, and I will be one happy Bruins fan even if you get tossed out in the first round. Manage to match up with Claude Julien’s Montreal Canadiens in the first round, and three years of long memories are all but dust in the wind.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.