There doesn’t seem to be a team in the East division that can seem to beat the Boston Bruins right now. The Bruins finished off yet another two game sweep against the New York Rangers, beating them 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, and 1-0 on Friday night. With these victories against an original six rival, the Bruins extended their winning streak to five games, and their point streak to ten.
So far this season, the Bruins have played 13 games, and a remarkable 10 of them have been decided by only 1 goal. Furthermore, 7 of their 13 games have finished in overtime or a shootout. This is a trend the Bruins will definitely be looking to veer away from. Although the team has shown the ability to win tight games, the B’s know that they are capable of putting teams away while scoring 4 or 5 goals. One goal games may have benefitted the big bad Bruins of the past who could win games simply by physical intimidation, but with a smaller, quicker roster in 2021, it would definitely be nice for the Bruins to show more of their goal scoring ability, especially against teams like the Rangers, who were tied for last place in the division going into Wednesday night.
Now that certainly doesn’t mean that the Bruins aren’t going to fight in order to make their presence known on the ice. Friday night featured lots of chippy, gritty play from both sides. Both Jeremy Lauzon and Trent Frederic got in heavyweight tilts with their opponents. This is a positive look for a couple of young players who want to prove that they belong on the pro roster permanently, especially because neither of them necessarily fit the description of enforcer. The Bruins are for sure willing to throw their weight around on the ice this year, as these 2 game sets seem to get tempers running high by the second night.
Two game sets have also greatly benefited the Bruins goaltending duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaro Halak, which is already one of the top tandems in the league. As we knew coming into the season, Halak was likely to be a 1a type of goalie as opposed to your traditional backup. So far into the season, the Bruins have utilized him as such, as he has played in 5 games compared to Rask’s 8. Both guys have been phenomenal so far and their stellar play was on display this week. Rask saved the Bruins on multiple occasions Wednesday night, and the Bruins surely could have lost that game without a few timely saves from him. Halak was also terrific Friday night when he picked up a 21 save shutout, the 51st of his career.
Now that we are roughly a quarter of the way through the season, the standings are starting to become evident of the types of seasons that teams will have. The Bruins are in 1st place in the East, four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Looking around the whole league, 5 of the top 6 teams in the standings come from what is normally the Bruins’ Atlantic division. The importance of the Bruins being able to stay away from teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs in the regular season, and the first two rounds of the playoffs, cannot be understated. We are seeing that the B’s are capable of taking on any team in the East division, and staying away from the top teams in the league until the semifinal playoff round can only help the Bruins.
The Bruins upcoming schedule will look a little different from the pattern they have played so far. They will take on the New York Islanders Saturday night in a single game, and then play another single game against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday due to their COVID related issues. They will then head out to Lake Tahoe for a marquee outdoor matchup against the Flyers that should be an amazing game to watch.
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