After the Bruins lost their game against the Chicago Blackhawks it left a pretty sweet taste in most Red Wings fans mouths. The playoffs are so close that many including myself have started to plan for the Red Wings to make the postseason.
While the probability of the Red Wings making it increased immensely, I am still not sure whether the games will fall their way. That is why I decided to take a deeper look and give you the three reasons why the Red Wings should still be worried about the Bruins.
1. Bruins remaining schedule is incredibly easy
While the Red Wings final week isn’t exactly murderers row, comparatively to the Bruins, it might as well be. The Bruins’ schedule (save for the Red Wings) is a very, very easy path to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Their next opponent, the Hurricanes, were recently eliminated by the Columbus Blue Jackets in a do or die game. In that game, the Canes decided to die and fell 5-1. They are a team that is undoubtedly on the rise. Though their motivation may be lacking after seeing their season’s aspirations dashed so recently.
After the Bruins face the Red Wings this upcoming Thursday, they then go on to face a lifeless Senators team. Although they have hovered around in the playoff picture for most of the season, this iteration of the Sens is not particularly good. Save for Erik Karlsson and some forwards, this team is caught in a no man’s land that won’t be competing anytime soon.
This schedule is a godsend for the Bruins but the Wings will have an opportunity to control their own destiny if they defeat them come Thursday. Uh, no pressure Red Wings.
2. Scoring is coming back for them at the right time
Before the Bruins last two games, they were in a horrific slump offensively. Since the middle of March they had only scored more than two goals once. Wowza.
Now it isn’t a guarantee by any means that the team is going to continuously score at the clip they have been but the team seems to be bouncing back in a huge way. The team is extremely talented offensively, where they leave a lot to be desired is on the back end. Tuukka Rask over that same period of time has not been his normal self by any means either. It is almost as if this past month has been an alternate reality for the team. If you are a Red Wings fan you better hope they don’t put it all together. The team is hitting a road block at a perfect time, much to Detroit’s benefit.
3. Claude Julien has done a masterful job with the Bruins
I mentioned before that the Bruins backend left a lot to be desired and no that isn’t some sort of butt joke. This team has had a shaky defense all season long and it isn’t any fault of Claude Julien’s the pieces he has been given are nothing more than spare parts on other teams. His mainstays of Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara have done fine, it is the bottom feeders that have sunk the ship at times. Julien is doing very well with what he has and it is a scary proposition to see Julien on the opposition’s bench. He may not be on the level of say Quenneville and Babcock, but he is a formidable foe and could edge out the Wings in the coaching battle nonetheless. A very scary thought for fans who are still unsure of Jeff Blashill.