Whatever the case may be, if you're a Bruins fan, you just may find yourself supporting the Rangers this weekend. You'll understand why shortly.
The Bruins, thanks to their win on Thursday and Montreal's loss, are in sixth place, by virtue of having the same number of points (87) and having played just 80 games to Monreal's 81 games played. That means that if the Bruins can simply pick up two points in each of their next two games, they can lock down the sixth seed.
But the Bruins haven't exactly made a habit of going on three-game win streaks this year, so it's a good idea to make some contingency plans.
For one, you can hope the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens on Saturday night — the Leafs are already guaranteed to finish with the second-worst record, so a win there wouldn't affect the Bruins' draft pick. That would keep the Canadiens at 87 points and open the door for the Bruins to stay ahead of them in the East by picking up at least one point in two games.
Then you've got the Rangers. The Blueshirts have 84 points and are in ninth place. They play two games this weekend, both against the Flyers, who, coincidentally, are in eight place with 86 points. If the Bruins can pick up two points over the next two games, then two Rangers victories in regulation would lock the B's into the sixth seed. If the Flyers and Rangers spend their games in overtime, then things will get complicated.
But if the Flyers and Rangers split regulation wins, the Bruins will need to pick up those two points for a better seeding, but they'll at least be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.
That spot for the Bruins is important though, as a first-round matchup with Pittsburgh or Washington will be much more likely to lead to a first-round exit than will a first-round date with New Jersey or Buffalo. Granted, it's the playoffs, and anything can happen, but the sixth or seventh seeds will probably be the safest spots for the Bruins to win.
Of course, if you can't stomach celebrating a Marian Gaborik goal or a Henrik Lundqvist save, you can just hope the Bruins take care of business themselves.
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