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Goucher: Bruins Lost Ability To Control Their Own Playoff Fate

BOSTON (CBS) - The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  season continues for the Boston Bruins, as they lost another one Sunday in Tampa.

The hometown hockey team has five straight wins and five straight losses in their last 10 games, which illuminates the up-and-down nature of the 2014-15 season even more.

98.5 The Sports Hub's Fred Toucher and WBZ-TV's Dan Roche (filling in for Rich) talked to the voice of the Bruins, Dave Goucher, on Monday morning, about a team that is on the ropes and on the verge of a knockout.

"I think they're pretty dejected right now," Goucher said of the reeling Bruins. "They finished up a stretch yesterday of 11 games in 18 days, and they looked like they were out of gas. For them it's been a difficult stretch."

Boston is battling with the Senators for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. However, Ottawa has two games in hand, so it is they who have the upper hand and not the B's. The Bruins no longer control their own playoff fate, and with just nine games remaining they're running out of time to turn things around. Boston now has just a 39 percent chance of making the postseason.

"It's hard to believe, but a week ago they had a six-point lead for a playoff spot, and now it's down to one point. They haven't been out of the top eight [in the Eastern Conference] since January 6. That could change tonight if Ottawa gets a point against San Jose. There's just been wildly inconsistent stretches in their play. It's been like that all year. I guess we were hoping maybe they were over that when they recently went 8-1-1, but it turns out that hasn't been the case."

For this Bruins team, the inconsistency not only occurs game-to-game, or week-to-week. It's on a minute-to-minute basis, and Goucher simply just can't explain it. Their inability to respond, or step up to challenges is a troubling characteristic for this team who, in the past, never had such problems.

"I wish I could explain it. What disappointed me last night was the Brad Marchand-Steven Stamkos fight, which was really more of a wrestling match. When that happened the game was 1-1. It's a big turning point in the game, in that you want to know which team is going to respond better," said Goucher.

"Well the next thing you know Tampa Bay scores two goals in the blink of an eye and they were up 3-1, and the Bruins never really had much pushback after that happened. That was disappointing. It was 3-1 after the first period, and unfortunately that was all she wrote."

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton,  Boston's second leading scorer, missed Sunday's game after sustaining two big hits against Florida on Saturday. Goucher doesn't have an update on Hamilton's health at this point, but to him this drives home the point even more that they needed defenseman depth at the trade deadline.

Despite all the adversity, including injuries to key players, Boston is still in the thick of a tight playoff race -- but it's not up to them anymore. They now have to take care of their own business, and scoreboard-watch Ottawa as well.

Listen below for Toucher & Roche's full conversation with Dave Goucher:

Hear every game of the 2014-15 Boston Bruins season on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Bruins. Pregame coverage with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers begins 30 minutes prior to every game!

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