B's can become first team to clinch playoff berth tonight

B's can become first team to clinch playoff berth tonight
March 21, 2014, 11:15 am
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DENVER – One other thing to play for on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche, in addition to becoming the proud owner of the NHL’s longest winning streak this season at 11 games: a clinched playoff berth is on the line for the first time.

After crunching the Eastern Conference numbers, the Bruins can be the first NHL team to secure a playoff berth with any kind of win against the Avs, or getting a point vs. Colorado in an overtime/shootout loss combined with a New York Rangers loss in regulation vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Bruins also have a chance to pull into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for the best overall record in the NHL if they can come away from their Colorado showdown with the full two points. The President’s Trophy has become a realistic, secondary goal for the Black and Gold behind getting their roster rested, and fully set up for the expected long Stanley Cup playoff run in Boston.

“Catching St. Louis is something that we can’t control,” said Daniel Paille. “They’ve been just as good. Our goal is to be the best we can in our remaining games, but right now our focus is getting the wins day-by-day. Then we’ll analyze where we are at the end of the season.”

One thing the Bruins are keenly aware: they have the best record in the NHL at home at 28-7-2 and the TD Garden has been a very intimidating environment for road teams this season. That isn’t expected to change one iota during the playoffs, so the more postseason games on home ice, the better it will be for the Boston Bruins.