NHL Playoffs: Two Teams On The Bubble

There is no better tournament then the NHL Playoffs, and the Playoffs are taking shape. Like most years there are surprises and let downs, but this season it’s the bubble teams that are drawing some attention. It’s the aging Bruins and the on again off again Canucks that are catching my eye today. That’s not to say there are not a handful of other bubble teams that deserve some love. You can read more on them in an article on Pro Hockey Talk.

The Boston Bruins were going to be an aggressive team, with a big and bad personality. Well, both came true. The Bruins are big and they are fairly bad, but not in 

the way they intended. Boston is aging and they need to start thinking rebuild, but that won’t sit well with Bruins fans.

This season the Bruins didn’t get the Chara affect or the goal scoring needed to make any kind of run; they got mediocre play from the vast majority of their roster. According to the Bruins website they only have one 20 goal scoring currently, and by season’s end it looks like they will have no more than three.

Boston is sitting five points up on the fading Senators, and with that in mind it looks like they will sneak into the playoffs, but that will be the only positive this season. The Bruins need to make some off-season moves and some of them need to be very big. This is not a cup team, and it won’t be next year unless GM Peter Chiarelli doesn’t change his way it won’t be for years to come.

The Vancouver Canucks are also an interesting team. They are not your typical bubble team. They are sitting in second place in the Pacific with 82 points, and in 

  my opinion are only there because the Los Angeles Kings didn’t give a darn about hockey until recently. Vancouver has only one 20 goal scorer (Radim Vrbata), but they have six players with 30 points or more.

The addition of Ryan Miller has brought stability to the goaltending in Vancouver, but even Miller has been only average. The Canucks need to look at this year as a step forward, but there is still a good amount of work to do.

The Playoffs are a nice feather in their cap after last season. For Vancouver they need to hit the gas beadle and do better than their 6-3-1 record in the last ten games, The Canucks need to string together a four or five game win streak. With the Kings on again off again play simply drifting through the remaining games could put the Canucks in the tee box sooner than expected.

It’s only a matter of time until the NHL Playoffs are all set and teams are locked in. It’s the bubble teams that still need to get the job done. By season’s end some will teams will rise and others will finally pop.