The Boston Bruins might have entered their bye week with a disappointing loss to the New York Rangers, but as a whole, you have to be pretty pleased with where the B’s are currently situated in a competitive Eastern Conference. Still, even with a spot in third place in the Atlantic, there are plenty of areas for Boston to shore up as it prepares for a stretch run of 33 games over 68 days. Here’s a look at seven stats that stand out when it comes to facets of the game for the B’s to address, or at the very least, tweak.
32: Points out of a possible 50 against non-playoff clubs
The Eastern Conference standings are awfully tight right now, with just two points separating the second place team in the Atlantic (Toronto) with the club in the second Wild Card spot (Pittsburgh).
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Bruins down the stretch, with 17 of their final 33 games coming against teams currently in the postseason — including three matchups against the Lightning, who are currently torching teams with a 37-10-2 record.
Considering what lies ahead, the Bruins have to be kicking themselves when it comes to leaving points on the board against clubs that they should be taking advantage of.
In 25 games against teams currently not in the playoff picture (a combined record of 292-308-88), Boston has managed to clinch just 32 points out of a possible 50 with a record of 14-8-3.
If you want to narrow it down to non-playoff teams in the East, Boston’s record is just 8-7-1 — equaling out to just 17 points out of a possible 32. Not great.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful to any team,” Bruce Cassidy said of Boston’s most recent loss to New York. “I think the Rangers are playing better hockey. If they have any intention of making the playoffs then they have to make up ground, so they have to be ready to go. Against the Flyers the other night, we got loose, so I’d like to think our guys believe we’re the better team in these games, but you have to play like it.
“So, that’s another thing that needs to be addressed. Are we playing down to the level of competition or are we going to play to our standard? I think that the message from us as a coaching staff over the last two, three years is we need to play to our standard. So, I guess that’s the message we have to get back to and start measuring ourselves against our best selves, so to speak.”
23: Goals surrendered within five minutes of a Bruins goal