The middle of January was a rough patch for the Boston Bruins. They lost three out of four games from the 13th to the 19th. In those three defeats, they blew multi-goal leads twice and lost Tuukka Rask to a concussion in the other.
When the Vegas Golden Knights came into the Garden the 21st, it was an important tilt for the Bruins. They were one game away from a 10 day break. After a bad stretch, they wanted to give their fans something to cheer for. Not to mention, the last thing Boston wanted was to enter the break with the sour taste of losing four of five.
After an exciting come from behind victory, they could begin their break on a high. It turns out, Boston’s 10 day vacation could not have come at a better time.
With Rask back between the pipes and Boston’s batteries charged, the Bruins rushed out of the gate. They stymied the Jets, beat down Minnesota, embarrassed Vancouver, frustrated Chicago, and wore down Arizona.
With this six game winning streak, Boston was the first team to reach the 80 point threshold. Now while Bruins fans might be the most cynical fan-base in New England, the truth is, they have been watching a pretty damn good hockey team this year.
Rask and Halak have both been fantastic of late. Over this winning streak the tandem has yet to allow more than two goals in a game. The goalies have also been dynamite on the penalty kill. They have allowed just two power play goals on 21 chances.
While on the attack, the Bruins have found some scoring outside of 37, 63 and 88. While Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak are still producing, a few other skaters have really stepped up their play.
Jake DeBrusk has tallied six points over this winning streak. Charlie Coyle has corralled five points over this span. Not to mention, Charlie McAvoy finally potted his first goal of the year to beat the Blackhawks in overtime.
This Bruins roster definitely has room for improvement. They have been searching for the 6th defenseman this year. Injuries and inconsistent play have left Connor Clifton, John Moore, Jermey Lauzon, and Steven Kampfer battling for that spot.
The Bruins are still trying to find consistent offense from the second line right wing. Boston will need to decide if they believe they have that skater already on the team. If not, the Bruins should not hesitate upgrading that position via trade.
However, after all of that, the Bruins still possess the most points in the entire league. Washington, who has always given Boston problems, stands in second with 77. Also, even though the Bruins are first in the NHL, they only lead the Atlantic Division by five points over Tampa Bay.
Going off of points, Boston is the best team in the NHL. This position could easily change in a flash. Regardless of their ranking heading into the playoffs, Boston should not fear taking on any team this spring.
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