Morning Free Association: The Final Stretch

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It’s here, what would have been the final week of the season had COVID not reared its ugly head, causing the Bruins to postpone games. In the next 8 days, the Boston Bruins will play 6 games, with the last game on the road against the Capitals. Of course, the final two head-to-head matchups against the Islanders and Capitals in the last two days will likely not have much consequence other than seeding, provided that the Bruins win the either or both of their games against the New Jersey Devils in Newark.

The Islanders clinched on Friday night so only one spot in the East is open, which the Bruins currently hold. However, they haven’t clinched yet since the New York Rangers are still within striking distance, technically. In the standings, the Bruins have two games in hand on them and six games left to play in the regular season. The Rags are in a different boat: they have four more games left, two against the Capitals starting tonight and two at the Bruins. If the Bruins win tonight, they should clinch regardless of what the Rags will do since they won’t have enough games to overcome. Hell, even a loser point for the Bruins should clinch. But, if the Bruins lose to the Devils and the Rangers win, the Rags are still within range of the Bruins pointwise. Again, the B’s are playing the Devils tonight and tomorrow night, a team they’ve had trouble with all season.

But this team is different since the trade deadline. So is the Devils team. The Bruins lost an oft-benched Anders Bjork and gained Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar, and Mike Reilly. The Devils were mostly sellers at the deadline, trading away Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, and Dmitry Kulikov; terminating the contract of Nikita Gusev; and placing impending UFA Sami Vatanen on waivers, where he was claimed by the Dallas Stars. The lone acquisition was defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. But, Lindy Ruff will still be employing his neutral zone defense and will play either of the wood goalies, Mackenzie Blackwood or Scott Wedgewood, both of whom have had success against the Bruins.

The Bruins do have another advantage: Brandon Carlo is expected to play either tonight or tomorrow night. Carlo has missed all but 23 games this season, first with a concussion sustained by a Tom Wilson boarding incident and the other when he injured an oblique two games after returning to the lineup.

As stated in the tweet above, Kevan Miller will not play both games of the back-to-back for knee management reasons. He and Carlo will “swap” a game. This is good news.

Also, since it’s Monday, I figured I would share this sweet tweet from over the weekend. When they showed this on NESN, I squealed at the TV (and to IW), “I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!”

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Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Got a good chuckle out of this with all our conversations about getting vaccinated:
https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/vaccine-side-effect-or-have-you-just-been-alive-for-40-years

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Was reaching for adult sippy-cup full of coffee.

“Do you have a headache?”
“Is it Sunday? Then Yes.”
“It’s Monday.”
“…”

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Yes! This morning I feel like the complete garbage I usually feel like…. I should sign up for the vaccine. I can’t feel much worse!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Right? I was thinking I felt pretty tired after getting my first shot and realized I was already tired before I even went and got the shot. It wasn’t the vaccine, it’s just being old! lol

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Hi all,

That second line are looking better and better. It’ll be good to get Carlo back in the mix. The Bs are a different team now to the one that had so much trouble with the Devils. It’ll be a good ghost to lay to rest if they can take care of them tonight.

Kevan Miller will not play both games of the back-to-back for knee management reasons. He and Carlo will “swap” a game. This is good news.

Agreed. I’m surprised there isn’t more squad rotation just to keep players fresh with such a busy schedule. It’s common practice with soccer teams, especially if they play in midweek tournaments in Europe as well as domestic league games every weekend.

I figured I would share this sweet tweet from over the weekend

Love this!

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

That second line…!!!!

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Good morning!
Hey! The Bruins aren’t playing Buffalo tonight! Instead, the boys need to chop wood against the B-devilers. Not only Wedgewood and Blackwood, but Miles Wood, who has put a few slivers in the Bruin’s hands over the past few seasons.
Jo and I got out on the river together yesterday. A beautiful day in one of the prettiest places on Earth.

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Oh! So it was winter on Saturday,n black fly season.on Sunday.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

It’s crazy atm. We are forecast a week of rain and strong winds. This time last year we had already had two BBQs by now!

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Sounds funcomment image

But I am jealous that you guys got out for that. I am not fully acclimated to outdoor season yet. The near-daily windstorms are not helping. My flagpole has just broken for a second time this season.

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Wind is a resident of Monroe. I’ve never experienced wind like it. It’s like the rain in the Forrest Gump movie!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Glad you and Jo were able to get on the river, always good for the soul!

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Jo has had a hard time getting out to paddle between being busy and being smart enough to stay out of the river when it’s friggin’ cold. I think our biggest smiles happen on the river!