(Photo Credit: NESN.com)
By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael
We’ve finally made the march to March in our Summer-long (and now Fall) scheduling series on upcoming Bruins games for the 2019-2020 season (hence the Part VI moniker). Now, here’s where you should make a March mark on that B’s calendar — be it online, on the wall or on your dolled up desk!
Florida Face-Offs: March 3rd – 7th
The B’s open up hockey’s penultimate month of regular season play (yes, there are a few games in April before the playoffs start) on the road in Florida with their annual consecutive-game schedule versus the Lightning and then the Panthers. This year, however, there’s an added bonus — or challenge to be more accurate: Boston returns home to face Tampa Bay for a second game within five days time. That’s right, the Bruins will go Bolts, Cats, Bolts between March 3rd and March 7th before bolting back to the road in week two.
Now, it doesn’t take an Original six seer, Cup crystal baller, skilled skate psychic or puck luck prognosticator to predict just how tough this three-game stretch will be for the B’s… especially considering where Tampa Bay will most likely be in the standings at this time of year: the top, with ideally Boston just a few points behind making every game a potential four-point swing.
As a result, the Black N’ Gold will have to bring their A++ game to take multiple points and multiple games against two annoyingly talented teams (sorry, I feel that way for all Florida sports–yet not theme parks, surprisingly) who always play them tough — even when the backup goalies start like two times last season.
That being said, count on some very entertaining and meaningful hockey, which we all hope looks very similar to the clip below (from almost the same time of year last season), to kick off a month that could be a make-it or break-it one for the B’s with 14 games scheduled, eight of them on the road, and no layoffs longer than two days.
California Crosschecks: March 18th – 21st
For week three in March, the B’s will travel across the country to California where they’ll (cross)check in for their yearly West Coast Kick, even if it takes them off Route 66 and up & down the 5 North for a few days (I hope to cover these games live for our BN’G brethren back home).
Day one starts in Anaheim on the 18th at The Pond versus the once-Mighty Ducks of orange (and Orange County). It’s immediately followed by a next-night affair versus the Kings in LA, confidential as that may be. Keeping with consistency and Pacific specifics, Boston will then cruise past Santa Cruz on the way to San Jose for a Shark Tank visit that’s always worth wading into (especially for JAWS fans who love hockey & Jumbo Joe fans who love big jaws).
This three-game, four-night stretch is always one of my favorites… not just because of WHERE & WHO the B’s play, but for what it could potentially mean in the standings and for team morale. Boston will only have six games remaining on the schedule before playoff hockey commences by the time they finish these games.
We’d all like to think the B’s will be snug safely into a playoff spot by this time, which means a six-point sweep in California could be the difference between home ice and road ice or a division crown versus a runner’s up match up. The B’s play will be important because their positioning will be important (just like the post’s position in the clip below). And as we all know and have come to expect in Boston, there’s nothing more important than playoff hockey!
Hometown Heroics: March 24th – 28th
Hopefully. Hopefully there will be some “hometown heroics” at the end of March in Boston. Maybe the kind where divisional banners are raised? That’s definitely putting the Zamboni before the horse. But, with three consecutive games at TD Garden against divisional opponents who should be on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in, I’d like to think the B’s will take care of business at a time they know they should (and need to).
Speaking of needs, Detroit, Ottawa and Florida (on the 24th, 26th and 28th, respectively) will have plenty of them. Mostly on offense and defense, but you can best believe they’ll each be looking to burst Boston’s bubble before the season ends and steal a few precious points in the process.
The B’s, simply put, can’t let that happen. As Andy “Brick” Brickley likes to remind the Bruins from the broadcast booth every season, you’ve got to beat the teams you’re supposed to. There’ll be no better time than late March to do just that for the Black N’ Gold!
To recap our other Mark Your ’19-’20 Bruins Calendar feature pieces, click on the links below:
Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 146 that we recorded on 9-22-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!