Bruins Wind Down – Headed to Playoffs

By Bob Marra

The Boston Bruins head into the last week of the 2021-22 season with a single home game remaining – tonight (Thursday 7:00pm) on TD Garden ice as they face the Buffalo Sabres who are currently riding a four-game win streak. The  Sabres’ leading scorer is Tage Thompson with 67 points (37 goals/30 assists), and the chance to hit the 40-goal mark this season with two games remaining. Tomorrow (Friday 7:00pm), the locals close out their regular season on the road by taking on the ever-dangerous Toronto Maple Leafs who are 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Holding on to second place in the Atlantic Division, Toronto has clinched home ice advantage for the first round, behind 60-goal scorer Auston Matthews. Matthews is the first Maple Leaf to reach 60 goals in franchise history. The matchup with Boston is important for Toronto, as they are presently just one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins cannot finish lower than the first spot in the Wild Card standing as they hold a five-point advantage over the Washington Capitals. But, the Bs can advance up to third place if they win their two remaining games, and Tampa loses their two games against the Blue Jackets and the Islanders– just a long shot, but a possibility.

The Boston Bruins’ 2021-22 season awards were handed out on Tuesday, prior to their game with the Florida Panthers. Charlie McAvoy was the recipient of the Eddie Shore Award, given to the player who shows exceptional hustle and determination, chosen by the “Gallery Gods”. David Pastrnak is the winner of the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy, awarded to the player exemplifying outstanding performance on home ice as determined by the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This is the second time Pasta has been named the Dufresne winner, having also earned the trophy in 2019-20. Nick Foligno received the John P. Bucyk Award for providing exceptional off-ice charitable contributions. Finally, Pastrnak (First Star), Brad Marchand (Second Star) and Patrice Bergeron (Third Star) were named the Bruins Three Stars, as selected by 98.5 The Sports Hub, for being top performers at home games over the course of a season. Eddie Shore Award: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy was named by the “Gallery Gods” as the 2021-22 Eddie Shore Award winner. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound defenseman, who played in his 300th NHL game on April 2, leads all Bruins defenseman in goals (10), assists (45) and points (55). Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy: David Pastrnak was the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy recipient for the 2021-22 season. Playing at TD Garden, Pastrnak has totaled 26 goals, 18 assists, and 44 points through 36 games. John P. Bucyk Award: The award is named after Bruins legend John P. Bucyk, who has just finished his 63rd season with the organization. Nick Foligno received the John P. Bucyk Award for his contributions in and around the Boston Community this season. Foligno has been involved in every virtual visit this season with local Boston area hospitals as well as the Bruins annual Toy Shopping event. In 2020, Nick and his wife Janelle started The Heart’s Playbook Foundation in honor of their daughter Milana who has been battling heart disease since birth. The goal of their foundation is to help patients and families work with the best physicians, receive the best care and engage with the best technology in heart health, and be introduced to some of the most positive communities so that they may have positive outcomes. The Foligno family participated in Heart Health Night at TD Garden on April 12, providing gift bags to heart health patients and heart healthy recipes to share throughout the Bruins game. 98.5 The Sports Hub Three Stars: Bruins First Star David Pastrnak leads the team in goals (39) and is second on the team in points (73), as well as first in game-winning goals (7). Bruins Second Star Brad Marchand is first on the team in points (76) and assists (45), and second on the team in goals (31). Third Star Patrice Bergeron is third on the team in assists (37) and points (59), and has the team’s highest rating of plus-21. 

In addition to those awards, Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk is this season’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy given annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, professionalism, and dedication to hockey.” Okay, let’s move forward with the playoffs – set to begin on Monday, May 2nd.

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