Rumors of the Boston Bruins demise may have been greatly exaggerated. The Bruins have clawed their way out of last place (okay it’s only to fourth place but you can’t jump to first in one week) and look to be playing a better brand of hockey than what they were producing to begin the season. The Bruins are now riding a meager three game win streak in which they have outscored their opponents 18-5. In the first ten games of the season Boston only managed to score five or more goals once, in a 6-2 victory over Toronto in mid October. The Bruins have quadrupled that total putting up scores of five, seven and six respectively over this three game stretch.
Even more importantly two of the Bruins wins came against divisional opponents Toronto and Ottawa who last time we checked in were leading the Northeast Division. Toronto remains in first but the Bruins didn’t seem to notice while smacking seven goals into the net and shutting the Leafs out on Saturday Toronto. The Leafs had been 5-0-1 at home before skating with the Bruins. Thanks to these impressive goal outbursts the Bruins now join Buffalo as the only teams in the Northeast Division with a positive goal differential at plus 10. There are only six teams in the NHL currently with a differential of plus10 or more, and the other five are in either first or second place, so the Bruins are clearly making striders forward.
Speaking of strides forward, the Bruins may have just started to get hot but one player has been so all year. Tyler Seguin, who’s been mentioned before on this blog, has been lighting it up all season, so of course he was an intricate part of this current hot streak. Seguin had his first career hat trick in the 7-0 devastation of Toronto and is currently tied for the league lead in plus/minus with +11. Seguin is turning into the offensive powerhouse the Bruins need to bring them to the next level. Everyone knows the Bruins defense is rough and unforgiving (it helps when you have a 6’9″ behemoth Slovakian, with the hardest slap shot in hockey back there) but Seguin adds a level of finesse and offensive fire power the Bruins lacked even in winning the Stanley Cup last season.
Nathan Horton and David Krejci must be watching closely as they have begun to play at a higher level, at least in the last three games. Krejci missed time early this season with an injury so his return to prominence has been delayed, but Krejci has put together back to back three point games in the Bruins last two skates with Horton adding one as well in a game effectively won by the two against the Islanders. Improved front lines for the Bruins is not something the NHL wants to see from a team that was already tough defensively.
However all is not totally well in the Bean. Daniel Paille took a slap shot to the face in Monday’s win over the Islanders. That is not something you just brush off your cheek and then keep on skating, although Paille did skate off the ice on his own accord. To say there was blood would be quite the understatement. Paille has a broken nose and will have surgery today and will then be listed as day to day for the Bruins.
The Bruins win against the Islanders on Monday began a five game home stand for the Bruins, with the biggest of the five games against Buffalo on Saturday. It’s unlikely that Boston will continue to light up the scoreboard like Oklahoma State’s football team but only seven points out of first the Bruins may have finally woken up from that hangover. It’s good to be in fourth (for now).
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