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Atlantic Division Weekly: Bad News Bruins

The Bruins will not play their next two games.

Dec 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save during the second period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at the TD Garden. Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that time the San Jose Sharks had all those players and their head coach on COVID Protocol? Well, maybe they didn’t have it so bad after all. The Boston Bruins will have their next two games postponed due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases among both their camp and that of the Boston Celtics, with whom they share an arena. Yikes, that’s rough! Definitely the struggle of the week in the Atlantic Division.

Boston Bruins (14-10-2)

The impact of players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand being on COVID Protocol hit the Bruins hard this week. They started out strong with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Marchand got on the board, as did Connor Clifton, Curtis Lazar and Charlie McAvoy.

Things promptly went downhill from there. On Tuesday, they lost 4-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights, unfortunately. The lone goal was scored by Bergeron. This was the last game Bergeron and Marchand played with their team before they were sent to Protocol.

The next game of the week was a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday. As of now, it is unclear when the B’s will hit the ice again. The team’s upcoming games against the Ottawa Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes have been postponed.

Buffalo Sabres (10-15-5)

The first game of the week for the Sabres ended in a shootout. Though it was hard-fought, the Sabres fell short to the Washington Capitals 3-2, on the second night of a back-to-back at home. They bounced back quickly, however, hitting the road beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on Tuesday. Rasmus Dahlin found the net twice, with the other girls scored by Anders Bjork and Jeff Skinner.

The Sabres got a second shot at a shootout in their next game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Finally, they were on the opposite side of that 3-2 score, beating the Wild in the shootout. The Sabres wrapped up the week with another back-to-back, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, losing 3-2 in overtime.

Detroit Red Wings (14-13-3)

The Red Wings only played two games this week. The first was a 2-1 home victory over the Islanders on Tuesday. Dylan Larkin and Michael Rasmussen found the net while Alex Nedeljkovic made 33 saves between the pipes. The second match of the week ended in a loss, traveling to Carolina to lose 5-3 to the Hurricanes. Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi scored, but their team failed to help them out from there.

Detroit has fallen in the standings and their schedule isn’t helping — the team is bouncing between road and home games all month, with no more than two home games in a row until January.

Florida Panthers (18-7-4)

I could not be more upset as I let you know that the Panthers have slipped out of first place. Now in third, they lost every game this week. It started with a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Sunday. Joe Thornton scored a goal, so we can celebrate that, especially because he broke an NHL record. He now has the 12th most points in the history of the league!

Things continued downhill fast as the team returned home to lose 8-2 to the Senators somehow. I am just as surprised as you are. Spencer Knight was between the pipes and made an impressive 30 saves, but somehow still allowed eight goals. The week (and homestand) finished off with a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. They had one job and they let us down.

Montreal Canadiens (7-21-3)

The Canadiens started off their week with two losses. Are we surprised? No. It started out with a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, followed by 5-2 loss to the Penguins on Tuesday. It’s not easy being the Habs this season.

However, the team came home and picked themselves up to win in a shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers. The 3-2 victory on Thursday saw goals from Laurent Dauphin, Artturi Lehkonen and Jonathan Drouin, who was the only scorer in the shootout. And to answer your burning question, no, Martin Jones was not in net for the Flyers.

Ottawa Senators (9-17-1)

I can’t believe I am telling you all this, but the Ottawa Senators had a good week. It started with a 4-0 home win over the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Brady Tkachuk netted a hat trick, while the fourth goal was scored by none other than Josh Norris. The Sens kept the momentum going by beating the Panthers 8-2 on Tuesday. No, Chris Tierney did not score any of those goals. He didn’t even have an assist. Bummer!

Finally, the week ended with a loss, falling 2-1 in a rematch against the Lightning on Thursday. Thomas Chabot scored the lone Ottawa goal, while Anton Forsberg made 25 saves between the pipes.

Tampa Bay Lightning (19-6-4)

The reigning Stanley Cup Champions might be sitting at first place in the division, but the team had a mediocre-at-best week, starting with a 4-0 loss to the Senators.

The team traveled back to Tampa and got back in the win column with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Kings on Tuesday. The Senators came to visit Amalie Arena and this time, the Bolts pulled out a 2-1 victory, with goals from Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn.

Toronto Maple Leafs (20-8-2)

The Maple Leafs only played two games this week and won both of them. It started with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Saturday. Netminder Petr Mrazek made 31 saves between the pipes, while goals were scored by William Nylander, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Pierre Engvall and David Kampf.

Toronto decided they liked scoring 5 goals in a game and did it again when they visited the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. The Leafs won 5-1 with goals from Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, Wayne Simmonds and a pair from Matthews.

The team’s next three games have been postponed.