With the Boston Bruins revealing their initial roster for the upcoming 2021-2022 season today (and yes, there were some “notable names” absent), you can guarantee it won’t look the same come the final month of the season next April.
Nor will the B’s cap situation look anything like it’s currently constituted. All this to say that a LOT can happen over the course of a FULL hockey campaign — one the Bruins haven’t played with full health and a full arena full of fans for quite some time it feels.
So, let’s fill out that final month — April of 2021 — with the games to mark on your Bruins calendar ahead of the playoffs aka the “second season” that we all hope the B’s will be a part of… and for well into the Summer!
ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
Like a Willie Nelson greatest hits track, the B’s will be “on the road again” to open April after welcoming the Columbus Blue Jackets to TD Garden on the 2nd. Speaking of which, they’ll kick off the four-game travel trip with the second-half of a home-and-away in Columbus on the 4th.
That will be followed by a back-to-back contest just up the road in Detroit versus the Red Wings the next night. Why are these two initial games so important? And so important to WIN? Because the next two could be the competition keeping the B’s from potentially being higher up in the standings come playoff time: the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals.
Boston wrapped up its preseason against the Caps last week, a lackluster preseason at that, so it’ll come full circle to play them again to nearly wrap up the regular season some six months later. By then, both the Caps and Lightning (mark those road games on the 8th and 10th of April respectively) will be in beast mode so we’ll be rooting for the Bruins to not be far behind when it comes to a skillful, healthy roster hungry for playoff success!
Six out of the last ten B’s games will be in Boston to conclude the month of April so a little “home cooking” could be exactly what the team orders to go out on a high note, and hopefully quite fulfilled. The marquee match-ups to highlight are as follows: three-in-a-row at TD Garden on the 12th, 14th and 16th against the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins.
This cross-section of contending (Blues & Pens) versus cowering teams (Sens) will be a focus and focal point for B’s leaders like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy to keep their teammates and linemates on track and not playing down to the competition, or on too much of a high against the big boys.
Some other “big boys” the B’s will battle against at home before the regular season rounds out: the “projected playoff teams” the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers (based on the recent analysis from The Athletic tweeted below).
These scrappy games on the 23rd and 26th will be great indicators of just how “ready” the B’s are to truly battle equally hungry teams to close out the ’21-’22 campaign.
Boston closes out its home schedule on the 28th versus the Buffalo Sabres so go get ’em Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar and Linus Ullmark!
NO “LEAF” UNTURNED!
The regular season wraps up on the road on April 29th for the Boston Bruins and it’s only fitting it comes against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team the B’s have haunted for the better part of the last decade both ahead of and of course during the playoffs.
Could this game be a “do-or-die” affair as it relates to the standings or potential playoff seeding or even making the playoffs for that matter? One can only hope (at least for the B’s beating the Leafs and adding more heartbreak to their recent history)!
Dare I say, the B’s should leave no “Leaf” unturned when it comes to making a statement and ending a full season’s worth of hockey with a big “W” ahead of their big playoff push.
Be on the lookout for a special playoff preview of our Mark Your Calendar series later in the season right here on the BN’G Hockey Blog!