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Bruins vs. Caps 5/11/21: Playoff Preview

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The regular season for the Bruins ends tonight against their playoff foe: The Washington Capitals

New Jersey Devils Vs Boston Bruins At TD Garden Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Just the Facts:

The Time: 7pm EST

The Place: Capital One Arena, DC

Place to Watch: NESN Plus, NHL Network

Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub

The Stakes: if you’re the Bruins? Literally anybody who is good could fall victim to Tom Wilson so maybe tell all of them to have a stay-at-home movie night. I hear Mortal Kombat was good, stupid fun!

Know Your Enemy:

  • The usual suspects are the major point-getters for the Caps: Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 24 in 44 games, and Nicklas Backstrom leads in points with 53 in 52 games.
  • TJ Oshie is their power play weapon of choice, with 13 goals on the power play this year, a team leader.
  • Tom Wilson drinks raw sewage.
  • Vitek Vanecek has definitely played the most games in net for the Caps with 36 games played, but given the excessively irregular play, he is not in fact leading Washington in Save-%. That honor belongs to Craig Andersen, who has played four games for them, and has a .915. Good gracious.

Game Notes:

The regular season is almost over! We’re almost done! The playoffs are so close you can almost taste it! There’s just one game left on the schedule and then

...And it just happens to be the team with the microscope on them, as well as the persistent kidney stone of hockey: Tom Wilson. Just after losing Ondrej Kase to injury.

Heh...Yeah.

So anyway, this game has little bearing on the standings, really. They can absolutely tie Washington in points with a regulation win, but it’s hard to say if Boston will be taking this opportunity to rest key players like Marchand, Pastrnak, Bergeron, Krejci and Hall, not when the reality of the situation is that Washington will be a handful regardless of whether or not they play tonight or on Saturday night. It’s a little bit of a mystery.

But regardless, the Caps aren’t in any better of a position: Alex Ovechkin, TJ Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and John Carlson are all Day-to-Day, with Oshie being their most recent casualty. While it’s impressive that they’ve managed to limp to the finish line like they are, it also means they are fairly thin on talent at the moment up the middle barring Lars Eller.

Finally, there’s the matter of the season score to settle: Bruins are up 4-3 on the series, and the most recent pair of games have been wacky affairs. An 8-1 loss answered by a 6-3 drubbing, and every game prior has been...eventful. Will Boston prioritize the playoffs and let the young boys play? Or will they make a statement on their last regular season game of this bizarre, bizarre season?

Tune in, and find out!