Patrice Bergeron Plays in 1,000th Game and the Bruins Drop in the Standings
Boston, MA - Between the murmurings of Kyrie Irving's growing unrest, Truck Day for the Boston Red Sox, and the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, the Boston Bruins have fallen to forgotten status, an afterthought in all Boston sports conversations of late, apart from the idea that a grand slam could be brewing in Boston (all four teams win the championship in the same general season. Boston is halfway there).
But the Bruins have fallen back to their early season ways since returning from the All-Star break, no longer as injury-plagued as they were before, but still middling and seemingly entire incapable of living up to their full potential. For a while it seemed like Boston was poised to capture possession of second place in the Atlantic Division and while they still could (they are just three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs), they have fallen back a bit in the standings to fourth, allowing the Montreal Canadiens to surpass them. Currently, Boston is projected for a Wild Card berth in the NHL post-season this year.
And Boston hasn't yet shown many signs that they ever will be able to pull ahead, as the team is struggling with closing out games and has found themselves losing games repeatedly in overtime or shootout situations. Even with Tuukka Rask returning from his concussion, the Bruins are still subjected to these losses with the most recent one coming against the New York Rangers when goals from Danton Heinen, David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand were not enough as New York downed Boston during a shootout, dropping the Bruins to 3-6 in their last nine games.
The lone bright spot in this stretch came during Boston's matchup with the New York Islanders when Bergeron played in his one thousandth career hockey game and scored two goals to celebrate it, leading his team to a 3-1 victory over the other New York hockey franchise.
It's disheartening to see Boston struggling with the same issues this deep into the season (there are just twenty-eight games to go), but they have the potential to be great; there's no denying that. Their next chance to prove that comes tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. And we know Boston teams have done well against L.A. teams, as of late!