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Why the Bruins are poised for a long playoff run

The Bruins are in the mix to win the Atlantic Division crown this season, despite what some outsiders believed were questionable personnel moves going back to last summer. Brian Babineau/NHLI/Getty Images

With points in seven of their past eight games, the Boston Bruins have climbed into a tight, three-way battle for first place in the Atlantic Division, with 86 points. That gives the Bruins an 18-8-3 record since Jan. 15, which is one point back of the Anaheim Ducks for the best record during that span. Is this team a legitimate Stanley Cup threat?

Boston's front office certainly thinks so. At the NHL trade deadline, the Bruins kept veteran Loui Eriksson and traded four draft picks and a prospect to rent Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles, who become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Those are not the types of moves than an organization would make without an expectation that it could make a deep postseason run.