It's not hyperbole to suggest this week's slate of games could determine the course the Bruins chart for the remainder of the 2021 season.
And while any chances of a sell-off should be remarkably slim for a team currently in playoff positioning (especially when factoring in the challenges of offloading hefty contracts in a flat-cap environment), just how well Boston fares this week against both the Capitals and the Flyers could determine how lofty Boston's deadline dreams are when it comes to equipping this veteran core for potentially one final Cup run.
With two games against the Capitals serving as a telling measuring stick against the top dog in the East Division — coupled with a pair of matchups of Tuesday and Saturday against the team just three points behind the B's in the Flyers — all it takes is a couple of losses strung together to turn a promising season into a fruitless venture for Boston.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, a hot streak could come at the perfect time for a club looking to further its resolve as it braces itself for the gauntlet that awaits in May and June.
It's far from an ideal situation for the Bruins — who, despite scrapping in the cutthroat Atlantic Division alongside clubs like the Lightning and Maple Leafs in years past, haven't had to fret much over the possibility of not punching their tickets to the playoffs during the last few seasons.
And compounding the problems for Bruce Cassidy and the B's is the harsh reality that, in this most pivotal stretch, the Original Six franchise's hopes very well might fall on a goaltending corps boasting an average age of 22.5 — and just four full games of NHL experience.