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Bruins Embracing Playoff Seeding Races



Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are about to embark on arguably the toughest stretch of their 2023-24 regular season schedule.

Starting Thursday night, when they host the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins will play nine straight games and ten of their last 12 games against teams that were in or still within three points of a Stanley Cup Playoffs slot as of Thursday morning. According to, the Bruins have the toughest schedule remaining with the combined winning percentage of their remaining opponents being .602 percent.

Also, counting the game against the Rangers on Thursday night, only three of those games will be within the friendly confines of TD Garden.

The Bruins, though, are embracing the gauntlet that is their remaining schedule. As they did a year ago at this time, the Bruins woke up in pole position to finish with the best record in the NHL and win the Presidents’ Trophy. However, unlike last season at this time, when they had 111 points already and were 13 points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes in the race for the best record, the Bruins find themselves in a battle atop the NHL, Eastern Conference, and Atlantic Division standings.

“This year, I find myself pushing more,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said prior to his team’s 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. “Just what we want to accomplish, how we’re going to accomplish it. Because we’re fighting for playoff position, we’re fighting for home ice…things that were already in the bag this time last year. It’s easier to push, and players are more receptive because we know we need to get better. Last year, we thought we were a well-oiled machine already.

It’s a healthier place for everybody. It’s more rewarding this year because you have to keep pushing, so you have to work harder as a staff and the players need to work hard because we need to continue to get better here.”

In the race for the Atlantic Division regular season title, the Boston Bruins (70 GP, 41-14-15, 97 pts) lead the Florida Panthers (68 GP, 45-19-4, 94 pts) by three points. They also lead the Panthers, along with the Rangers (69 GP, 45-20-4, 94 pts), by three points, and the Carolina Hurricanes (69 GP, 43-20-6, 92 pts) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. In the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, the Bruins lead the Panthers, Rangers, and the Vancouver Canucks (69 GP, 43-18-8, 94 pts) by three points. Then, the Winnipeg Jets (68 GP, 44-19-5, 93 pts), Colorado Avalanche (69 GP, 44-20-5, 93 pts), and the Dallas Stars (70 GP, 42-19-9, 93 pts) were all four points back of the Bruins, and the Hurricanes were five back on Thursday morning.

The Boston Bruins have been looking forward to these playoff seeding races because they know it will make them battle-ready for the grind that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“For us, the plan all along was when we hit March, our focus is starting to get ready for the playoffs,” Montgomery added. “I think mentally we’re getting there. I don’t think we’re executing on ice yet like that. But you’re still dealing with the rigors of the regular season, not using that as an excuse, but you see, every team in the league is dropping games or winning games that, probably they shouldn’t because of their play. But that’s what the regular season does. It prepares you for the playoffs, but it doesn’t prepare you for certain parts of the playoffs.”





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