Since the Patriots’ devastating loss in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Boston has been in a state of what I like to call “sports grief”. Numerous fans tune out all media and sports radio in order to avoid the heartbreaking reality. However, do not fret Boston- hope for another championship lives on. Allow me to introduce you to the Boston Bruins who are currently playing like the best team in the NHL.
What You Have Missed
It has probably been a bit of time since you last gave the Bruins your full attention. While the Patriots were dominating the sports news cycle, the Bruins have been quietly making a name for themselves. The Bruins are currently trailing the division-leading Lightning by one point with one game in hand. Their 74 points has them placed second in the entire NHL (33-11-8) and they have shown no signs of slowing up. Last night’s 6-1 dismantling of the New York Rangers marked the Bruins 18th win in their past 23 games.
On the second night of a back to back in two cities the Bruins played a complete game against a lackluster Rangers team. Boston is 27-4-4 in its last 35 contests. After back to back road wins the Bruins are a remarkable 10-0-2 in their last twelve road games. They have secured a ridiculous 22 out of 24 points away from the Garden and last lost on the road in early December.
How the Bruins Have Done It
How are the Bruins dominating the sport of hockey you may ask? That is the great part; it’s been a team effort. Defensively the Bruins are a well oiled machine. They allow only 2.31 goals per game, which leads the entire National Hockey League. This outstanding defense has the Bruins second in the NHL in goal differential with a +48.
They are led by Vezina candidate Tuukka Rask, who has been the best goaltender in the NHL for the past two months. Rask has not lost a game in regulation since November 26th and is riding a personal 21 game point streak (19-0-2). Rask is tied for sixth in the NHL in save percentage (.925%) with none other than Anton Khudobin. The Finland native is currently third in the NHL in GAA and tied for sixth in wins with 22. After being benched earlier in the season, Tuukka has responded with a bang leading the Bruins to the top of the NHL standings.
Offensively the Bruins have been absolute juggernauts. The Bruins rank fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.27) and third in the Eastern Conference. Led by the Hart Trophy candidate Patrice Bergeron, who already has 24 goals on the season, and should be on pace to surpass his career high 32 goals. Nothing seems to slow this team down, whether it’s injuries, breaks, or suspensions. Whatever it is the Bruins just steam roll through it. Not many teams could lose their best offensive player to a five game suspension and go 4-1 in that stretch. Somehow someway the Bruins always come out on top and get the job done. They are playing like a true team mainly because of one of the best lead by example players in all of sports in Bergeron.
Maybe the stat of the year is the Bruins are 13-10-4 when allowing the opponent to score first. Including winning their past two contest against Detroit and New York where they trailed 1-0 in both games. It gets even crazier when being outshot by the opponent the Bruins are 12-3-4. In one goal games the Bruins have an insane .900 winning percentage (9-1-0). Even though the Bruins have a habit of getting of to slow starts they are still outscoring their opponents 48-39 in the first period. As the game goes on the B’s only get better. In the second and third periods the Bruins are outscoring their opponents 122-77, a plus 44 goal differential. Closing has not been a problem for the young players either. The Bruins have not lost in regulation when they lead after the second period (26-0-2).
The way this team has played the past few months it’s not unrealistic to expect them to win at least two rounds. Mainly because as of right now this team has no weaknesses. Wake up Boston sports fans, because the Boston Bruins are demanding your attention.