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Tuukka Rask will need to be dominant in the second half of the season. Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern conference. Right now, they are seven points clear of ninth place Florida, but the Panthers have four games in hand on the Bruins. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Panthers would jump the Bruins in the standings if they win those four games and the teams perform at their current pace. Unfortunately for the Bruins, their second-half schedule is quite difficult.

January brings two games, one on the road against the top team in the Metropolitan division, the New York Islanders, followed by a game at home with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, who still seem to be getting over their championship hangover, but are always difficult.

February Key Match-ups

2/4 @ New York Rangers
2/8 vs. Montreal
2/13 @ Vancouver
2/16 @ Calgary
2/20 @ St. Louis
2/22 @ Chicago

February will be a true test for the Bruins. The month starts with a trip to Madison Square Garden and then another visit from Johnny Boychuk and the New York Islanders. There will be no time for rest as the Bruins then face their arch-rivals from Montreal the very next night. Their next game sees the return of Tyler Seguin to the TD Garden once again followed by a five game road trip including games in Western Canada, St. Louis, and Chicago. The Bruins then get the Canucks in their house and end with a back to back in New Jersey and at home against the Coyotes. The combined wins and losses of the teams the Bruins will face in February is 263 and 194 respectively.

March Key Match-ups
3/8 vs. Detroit
3/12 vs. Tampa Bay
3/14 @ Pittsburgh
3/15 @ Washington
3/21 @ Florida
3/28 vs. New York Rangers
3/31 vs. Florida


The month of March will be an important one for the Bruins. There are a significant amount of division games along with some tough Metropolitan opponents and a couple interesting Western Conference match-ups. Out of the fifteen total games in March, eight of them are against division opponents with two of those being against their main competition in the standings. The good news for the Bruins is for the first time all year, the black and gold will avoid a back-to-back game. They do however, have eight games in a two-week span, which will be concluded on the ever-dangerous Florida swing.

April Key Match-ups

ALL OF THEM

April has five games on tap for the Bruins and they may make or break their season. The only non-divisional game is against the team that currently sits above them in the standings, the Washington Capitals. Unfortunately for the Bruins, only one out of the five games in April is at the TD Garden against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This will be Boston's easiest game as the Bruins travel to Detroit, Washington, and the Florida swing for the second time in less than a month. The combined winning percentage of the teams the Bruins will face in April is 62%, which is only less than seven teams in the NHL when looking at wins and losses. Only Toronto currently has a losing record.

The second half of the season will be a major challenge for this Bruins squad. Not only do they face many of the league's top teams in both conferences, but they also have difficult road trips. The leaders of this team will need to step up and keep their teammates together, especially if there is a losing streak or two during this stretch. Either way this will be a very entertaining and nail biting second half of the hockey season for the Bruins.

Kevin Clancy 1/27/2015 08:55:00 PM Edit

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