Boston

The Bruins Are Pushing For 1st Place

The Bruins have been running train on the entire NHL as of late. After a slow start to the season, the B’s have put together a solid past two months of hockey. They currently sit in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, behind the number one team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning who have 81 points.

The B’s first line of David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand have combined for a NICE 69 goals, 87 assists and a +/- of +54. As a team, the Bruins also have a +52 differential, 2nd best only the Lightning.

Over their last 10 games, the B’s are 8-2-0 outscoring their opponents 36 to 21. The last stretch of games included a huge 6-1 road win over the New York Rangers, in which Bergy led the charge with two 2nd period goals.  They also had an impressive 5-2 win against Calgary, who are currently fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

With matchups with the 30-loss Vancouver team, a rematch with Calgary, and another bottom 3 team matchup with Edmonton coming this week, the B’s are in a fantastic position to take first place in the conference from the Lightning who have been cold as of late going 6-4-0 in their last 10 games.

The once “Big Bad Bruins” have completely changed their style of play from a team that would beat you down and win with scrappy goals and physicality to now a team who has been winning games with quickness, agility, and finesse.

The days of Milan Lucic railroading guys in the neutral zone and creating odd-man rushes are long gone and the B’s, under 2nd-year coach Bruce Cassidy have found their niche and are using it to bury teams.

The combination of youth and veterans on the top two lines is unmatched. With the Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak line being followed by the 23-year old Frank Vatrano, centered by veteran playmaker David Krejci, and experienced winger David Backes, the B’s have 6 players that would likely be in the top lines on any team in the league.

On defense, the Captain, Zdeno Chara who once was the bane of my existence is fitting nicely back into the defense and making an impact on games. Being surrounded by highly talented young defenders like Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, and Brandon Carlo, he has found a way even at his older age to fit back into the defensive scheme.

To top of the high quality of the team’s skaters, the good old black and gold have found themselves with 2 goaltenders having incredible years. Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have found themselves in the top 10 for both Save percentage and Goals against. Tuukka, the B’s primary goalie is having himself a season with a .924 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average. Khudobin beats him in save percentage by a hair with a .925 and trails Tuukka with a 2.32 goals against average.

With only 27 games left in the regular season, now would be the optimal time for the B’s to take 1st in the conference and run with it. They are red hot right now and hope to keep it rolling with an easy slate over the next week.

Here are some game highlights from the 6-1 blowout of the Rangers last week to get the blood pumping.

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