WASHINGTON, DC – The Bruins still have bigger and better things planned ahead of them, but they checked another box off the list on Saturday afternoon when they clinched their first Atlantic Division title.
The decision was never really in doubt as the Bruins held the lead throughout their 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, and needed only a single point this weekend to capture their new Eastern Conference division. They exploded for three goals in a six minute span in the second period
It’s the third division title in the last four years for the Black and Gold, and the fourth division crown for the Bruins since Claude Julien began his Boston coaching career back in 2007-08.
“If you know our group, we don’t even talk about it. I knew something would happen if we won, and now I’ve found out that we’ve clinched [the division],” said Julien. “We’ve got an opportunity to do more than that, so we’re going to keep playing and the main thing is keeping our game at the level we want it at.
“It was a good game. They gave us a really good, and it’s even closer than the final score might have indicated. Even though we’ve clinched a playoff spot, there’s more for the taking if we want it. We don’t want to take these last few weeks and just coast through it. That would hurt us in the end.”
Given that the Bruins hold a commanding nine point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and stand with a one point lead over the St. Louis Blues for the NHL’s best record, there are clearly still some accomplishments to target during the regular season. But the Bruins are also shooting for their third Stanley Cup Final appearance in the last four years, and that might rank a little higher up on the priority list than an Atlantic Division banner that will never materialize for the Black and Gold.