Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 19: Bruins fans cheer on their team during the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on April 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Senators defeat the Bruins 1-0. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Wednesday will mark Day 3 without Bruins playoff hockey. And while your heart is certainly thanking the Bruins for taking care of the Capitals in five games, the thumb-twiddling wait for the next round is officially upon us.

It’s a wait without a definite end date in sight either.

“No indication yet,” Bruins president Cam Neely said when asked if he knows when the second round will start for his team. “I assume I’ll hear something from the league in the next day or so. I like to have an idea just so we can plan and prep properly. It’s still a little early to maybe get that information.”

With only three of the league’s eight first-round matchups settled — the Bruins, Avalanche, and Jets are the only teams to have punched their ticket to round two thus far — it is most certainly too early for the B’s to get that information. It also doesn’t help that the Bruins have no idea who their opponent will be in round two, as the Islanders are currently up 3-2 in their series with the Penguins.

It’s a weird spot for the Bruins to find themselves in as the East’s No. 3 seed, too, as a meeting with top-seed Pittsburgh would send them on the road to begin the second round while a meeting with the four-seed Islanders would keep the Bruins in Boston, where they’ve relaxed comfortably since returning from Washington after eliminating the Capitals on Sunday night. In essence, all options remain on the table for the Bruins — and the Islanders and Penguins for that matter — making this an awfully difficult schedule for the NHL to try to build out in advance.

If the Islanders wrap things up on Wednesday, it would stand to reason that there’s a good chance that the Bruins and Isles will kick things off at TD Garden on Saturday night. The NHL has just two possible games scheduled for that night, one of which being a Game 7 between the Hurricanes and Predators (the Canes are currently up 3-2 in that series) or a Game 6 between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs (Toronto is up 3-1 in that series). A potential round two date between the Bruins and Islanders would likely get NBC’s eyes popping a bit more than the other two still-to-be-determined matchups.

If the Penguins force a Game 7, which would take place on Friday night, an Islanders win would probably project the Bruins and Islanders for a Monday night opening, as the Garden will be occupied by the Celtics and Nets on Sunday night. A Penguins win, meanwhile, could set the Bruins up for a Sunday night showdown at PPG Paints Arena.

(Please note: These are all pure guesses on my part at this point, but ’tis the season for NBC locking up primetime spots.) 

But Neely and the Bruins, whose only competition for time at the Garden are the Celtics, currently down 0-2 in their first-round series with the Nets ahead of home games on Friday and Sunday, are ready for any schedule thrown their way.

“I think we should be good dependent on the league,” Neely said when asked if there’s any availability issues at the Garden. “All of these dates have been submitted a long time ago as far as playoff availability. The Garden isn’t quite as busy as it normally is, when things are normal. I think it’s a little more available.”

In the meantime, the Bruins, who will return to the ice Wednesday after having the last two days off from the rink, will do what they can to stay sharp while they sit and wait.

“I think our group has enough experience to understand the time off, how to use it to the best of their abilities as far as getting rest and recovery,” Neely offered. “I think it’s very important, especially if you hope to have a long run.

“I think these days off are going to be very beneficial moving forward. Having said that, I do know when our guys get back on the ice, they’re going to be ready to work. And that’s what has to happen. The coaching staff will be ready to get these guys ramped up as the days progress and as we get into the first game of the second round.”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.