Bruins-Penguins could have been a playoff preview and other thoughts
PITTSBURGH — Now working with their second longest point streak (15-0-4), the Bruins skipped their customary morning workout here this morning and will hope to push that streak to 20 games when they meet the Penguins here Sunday night at 7:30.
■ What mighta been. The game here could have served as a Round 1 playoff preview, if only the NHL seeded 1-8 within the conference. The Bruins began the day ranked No. 2, and the Pens No. 7 in such a traditional schematic. Instead, based on Sunday morning math, the Bruins would face Toronto again in Round 1 and the Pens would face the defending Cup champ Caps.
■ The best run in Bruins franchise history came during the 1940-41 season, when the Black-and-Gold piled up 15 wins and 8 ties in 23 consecutive games. Keep in mind, in those Original Six days, it was a 48-game regular season. The Bruins finished atop the regular-season standings with 27 wins, 13 losses and 8 ties (all of the latter earned during the streak).
■ The Bruins ran the table on the Red Wings, 4-0, in the ’41 Cup final. Just sayin’. Center Bill Cowley paced the Bruins in regular-season scoring (17-45—62). He also was league MVP (Hart), leading the league in points and assists.
■ Chris Wagner, who popped in his career-high 11th goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Senators, moved to the penthouse late in the game for some first-line ice time with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Daddy Wags likely starts tonight back with fellow Crash Liners Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari. But it remains a developin’ situation. As of Sunday morning, Wagner ranked No. 6 on the club’s goal scoring list.
■ Jake DeBrusk sat out his third straight game, still hobbled with a foot injury after blocking a shot Tuesday night vs. the Hurricanes. DeBrusk had been on fire, having scored eight goals in 10 games—including the win vs Carolina. No word how soon he’ll be removed form the hors de combat list.
■ Also still on the mend for the Bruins: defenseman Kevan Miller and newly-acquired forward Marcus Johansson, recovering from a nasty wallop Tuesday night that led him to an overnight stay at MGH with a lung contusion. Among the immediate concerns for those with such injuries: 1. Potential for bleeding; 2. Potential for arrested breathing. Once free of those concerns, the 28-year-old Swede was allowed to leave hospital care.
■ The Penguins again this season are led in scoring by superstar Sidney Crosby, who entered the night with 87 points. He’ll finish with his most productive season since posting 104 points in 2013-’14. He could challenge the 109 he put up in 2009-’10.
■ Ex-Bruin Phil Kessel (22 goals) has an outside shot at reaching the 30-goal plateau for the seventh time in his career. Prior to the matchup here, he had potted 286 career goals since leaving the employment of Freres Jacobs.
■ The Bruins, fresh off the win over Ottawa the night before, played on back-to-back days for a 13th time this season. Prior to here, they were 7-4-1 in the front end of those couplets, and 9-1-2 on the back end, for total mark of 16-5-3, .729.