Monday, March 3, 2008

Will the Bruins Make the Playoffs?

Last March I looked at the Bruins playoff chances. At the time there were 13 games left and it was expected that in order to make the 8th spot the Bruins would have to pick up 20 points by going 10-3. Of course that didn't happen, and it didn't surprise anyone. Writing that post, I had the same feeling of doom I often experienced in the 3rd period last year, regardless of the score. The Bruins so often found a way to lose. I knew that the team hadn't found itself and it was unlikely that it would in the short time remaining.

So where are we this year? I get the sense that most Bruins fans have been collectively holding their breath since October. Waiting to see. Waiting for the breakdown, the losing streak, the great fall in the standings. And I've been one of them. But somewhere along the line, and I can't point to a particular moment, I got used to winning. Ever so slowly I lost that sense of doom in the 3rd--that here we go again feeling--and it's been replaced with a calm confidence. I now enjoy most games from start to finish; like the Bruins I simply assume they are going to win, and if they don't? Well, it's no big deal. They will get it back the next game.

With 18 games left, and a generally agreed upon target of 94 points to make the playoffs, the Bruins need 18 points. That's 1 point per game or 0.500 hockey. Can they do that? There is no question in my mind that they can. And they will. Just as last year that 3-rd period sense of doom made it seem unlikely that the Bruins would find a winning streak, this years calm confidence tells me not to worry.

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