The end can’t come soon enough.

The end of the NHL regular season, that is. The Boston Bruins are slumping toward the finish line of the 2014-15 season and are now winless in their last five games. It was a depressing seven-day stretch for the Black and Gold, a stretch that began in Washington with hopes of leapfrogging over the Capitals in the NHL playoff race and ended with a loss to a team that hadn’t beaten the Bruins in more than three years.

The 0-3-2 stretch means the Bruins no longer control their own destiny. On Monday night the Ottawa Senators beat San Jose Sharks 5-2, to jump one point ahead of Boston and into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

And that was one of two games Ottawa had in hand on the Bruins. With the win, the Sens are on the inside looking out at the B’s.

While they’ve been celebrating goaltender Andrew “the Hamburglar” Hammond along the Rideau Canal, hockey fans along the Charles have been lamenting a team that looks like a shell of the squad that made it to the Stanley Cup finals just two years ago.

The Bruins have been outscored 17-9 over the past five games, and have given up five or more goals in two of their last three.

Tuukka Rask has been overworked, and the defense in front of him seems overmatched. Dougie Hamilton missed Sunday night’s game with an undisclosed injury. Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg suddenly look mortal. And the scoring has been inconsistent at best.

Except for when the Bruins are in a shootout. Then the scoring is nonexistent.

Trading away Johnny Boychuk just before the season began was a deal made with an eye to the future. The Bruins didn’t think they could keep him around long term. The New York Islanders did, so they traded draft picks for the big defenseman. Earlier this month they locked him up with a seven-year, $42 million deal.

Boychuk has been a big part of the reason the Islanders are closing in on 100 points and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. His absence has been a big part of the reason why the Bruins may be watching those playoffs on television.

It’s not too late for the Bruins to stop the slide. Just before this skid Boston won seven out of eight games and appeared to be making a late-season push. Max Talbot filled a veteran presence that was missing before he was obtained at the trade deadline. David Pastrnak was giving them an offensive spark and playing with a confidence not usually seen in 18-year-olds.

The Bruins need more of that. They also need David Krejci back. He’s missed 15 straight games with a partially torn MCL in his left knee. He could be on the ice as soon as Thursday when the Bruins get back to work against the Anaheim Ducks.

They’re still waiting to get Brett Connolly, the 22-year-old winger acquired from Tampa Bay earlier this month, into the lineup. Connolly was injured when he was hit by a slap shot in one of his first practices with Boston.

It was the type of moment that makes you think the stars just aren’t aligned for this team. And yet they’re still within striking distance without two key right wingers, giving reason for hope.

The Bruins will finish in an all-out sprint to the postseason with nine games in the final 17 days.

There will be no time to rest or regroup or think about what’s going on.

That might just be a good thing. Right now, thinking about how this season has gone won’t do anyone any good.

Tom Caron is the studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.