The Boston Bruins have 93 points and are currently tied with the Detroit Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division. Boston has a game to go and will play the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, while the Red Wings will play the New York Rangers.
The Philadelphia Flyers are also looking to clinch a playoff berth, but a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday didn’t help matters. The Flyers have 92 points with two games to go. If they win them both, they’re in because both the Bruins and Red Wings have just a game to go.
To make matters more interesting, the Red Wings will have to win in regulation or overtime on Saturday in order to clinch the spot. If they don’t pull it off, they’ll miss the post-season for the first time in over two decades. There’s a lot riding on Saturday’s game against the Bruins, to say the least.
This makes things tricky for the Bruins, who will once again have their playoff hopes come down to the final day of the regular season.
“That’s what it takes sometimes,” said Zdeno Chara. “That’s why you have 82 games, so you can still have a chance at it, and that’s how we’re looking at it.”
The Bruins came into the 2015-2016 season with a rebuild in mind, which hasn’t made it any easier to face down the possible scenario of missing the playoffs. Interestingly, they could finish the season with 43 wins and still find themselves on the outside looking in.
And consider this: the Red Wings could make it in with 42 wins, while the Flyers could make it in with just 41 wins.
That’s the way the playoff cookie crumbles.
While the math behind the post-season is enough to make your head spin, the Bruins, Red Wings and Flyers have to win. And they’ll be playing to win this weekend, with all the usual hockey clichés in tow.
“We’ve got one game left and we’ve got to take care of business here,” said Henrik Zetterberg.