B's dilemma: Rest, or fight for division title?
By taking stock of who was and wasn’t on the ice for Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, it's clear coach Claude Julien is already beginning to toe the delicate line of resting players while going for the Northeast Division title. The Bruins will play their remaining four regular-season games over the next six days and will finish with three games in four days. Included are a pair of makeups, against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Thursday, in a game postponed because of February's blizzard) and the Ottawa Senators (Sunday, in a game postponed because of the Boston Marathon attack). They've already played one makeup game: Saturday against the Penguins, in a game postponed from Friday because of the lockdown in Boston. But the two postponements last week actually allowed the Bruins to catch their breath a little bit, and at least handed them a rest after the grueling schedule in March and April. Now, with the end of the regular season at end, the schedule gets grueling again. Which is why Julien must balance a sprint for the division title, and the No. 2 seed in the East that goes with it, against the need to keep players healthy and rested heading into the postseason. “We’re not too worried about the matchups or who we might play [in the playoffs]; we’re worried about where our game needs to be to have a successful playoff,” said Milan Lucic. But after Lucic seemed to indicate the Bruins were more concerned with how they felt than where they finished, he added: “We want to do everything that we can to get into that No. 2 spot and win that division. We still have a lot to play for with the division title on the line. We’re not looking past these four games. We want to build our game before the playoffs start and it’s a good focus to have.”
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