Bruins First 1/7th of 2020-21 Recap

Bruins First 1/7th of 2020-21 Recap

Weird title I know, but with a 56 game shortened season that breaks into 7 eight-game blocks. In order to keep everyone up to date, and in the name of content creation, why not recap each of these portions of the season. With the first 8 games now in the books that’s also the Bruins first 1/7th of the season already finished. This season is going to get intense in a hurry and just like a summer thunderstorm it’ll be over before we know what hit us. So let’s look at the first 1/7th recap.

The Bruins First 1/7th Recap

Just like with the return to play this summer the Bruins offense got off to a slow start. After the first 3 games, they were 1-1-1 but had zero 5 on 5 goals. Since a game 3 loss to the Islanders by a score of 1-0 the team has gone 4-0-1. They were on a four-game winning streak before an overtime loss to the Capitals in their most recent game. That has the Bruins at 5-1-2 with 12 points and sitting in 3rd place for the division.

The Division Standings

If you would like a full look at the NHL standings check out the NHL site. The first place the Capitals who have yet to lose in regulation sit with 15 points. Also with 15 points but in 1 more game, the Flyers are in second. The Bruins who have only played 8 games are in third with 12 points. Finally in the fourth and final playoff spot sits Pittsburgh with 11 points. Both the Devils and Sabres sit just a point back with 10 followed by the Islanders with 8 and the Rangers with 6.

So far the Bruins have only played five of their seven division rivals. The Bruins are 1-0-1 against the Devils in the first two games of the year. Their only game against the Islanders was next giving them a 0-1 record so far. The Bruins have done well against both Pennsylvania teams with a 2-0 record against the Flyers and Penguins. Their eighth and final game was their only matchup with the Capitals giving the Bruins a 0-0-1 record so far. Looking ahead the Bruins have four games in the coming week. First is the second game against the Caps followed by two against Philly and finally the first game of the year against Buffalo.

Looking At The Bruins First 1/7th Roster

Top 5 In Points

  1. Patrice Bergeron 5-6-11
  2. Brad Marchand 5-6-11
  3. Nick Ritchie 4-3-7
  4. Charlie McAvoy 1-6-7
  5. David Krejci 0-6-6

More To Give

First up on the underachieving list is Anders Bjork. In eight games played Bjork has only managed a single point. While his ice time has been limited he is also playing against what should be easier competition. Next on the list is Jake Debrusk. So far in six games, Debrusk has only managed a single point even with an opportunity on the top line.

Anders Bjork is off to a slow start in the first 1/7th of 2020-21.
Photo credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

After what seemed like a long contract negotiation a slow start won’t help end the trade rumors. The final player on this list is unfortunately Jeremy Lauzon. In his eight games, Lauzon also has one point but he is also a -5 which is the lowest plus-minus on the team. Cassidy or Sweemey clearly sees something in Lauzon and are asking a lot of him in a first pair role. While he has done well so far a -5 means improvement is needed in his own zone.

Bright Spots

With the bad news out of the way let’s look at three players who have been bright spots over the first 1/7th. First up is power-play specialist Nick Ritchie. You read that right Ritchie has been lethal on the power play scoring all four of his goals and adding two assists with the man advantage. Next up the big free-agent fish of the summer Craig Smith. So far in seven games, Smith has four points including two game-winning goals. Obviously not every goal Smith scores will be a game-winner but he’s third on the team with 23 shots and brings a much needed shot first mentality.

Ritchie starts the first 1/7th off with a goal against the Devils in game 1.
Photo credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The final bright spot of the Bruins first 1/7th goes to Jakub Zboril. In eight games Zboril has just one power-play assist but he is also a +2. Zboril has been playing just under 19 minutes a night and has formed an impressive third pair with Miller as his partner. His 15 hits are good for third on the team and he has the third-highest time on ice among rookies.

Boston Bruins’ Jakub Zboril during the third period of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Goalies

Through the Bruins first 1/7th the goalie deployment has been fairly even. Rask has played in five games going 3-1-1. While his .890 save percentage leaves plenty of room to improve his 2.49 goals-against is still good. Halak has played three games going 2-0-1. In those games, Halak has been impressive with a .938 save percentage and 1.30 goals against. Halak has also only played against teams in the second half of two-game sets. Could Rask always playing a team-first be causing the difference in numbers? Even with Halak’s hot start expect the deployment to remain fairly even all season.

Final Thoughts

The Bruins first 1/7th got off to a slow start, but the team looks to have turned a corner and again could be a Cup contender. With Pasta returning last game from offseason surgery look for the offense to improve significantly as everyone can now play their role. Debrusk, Kase, and Grzelcyk are all banged up but the team has the depth to keep going.

This season has already seen three teams postpone games so player health is always going to be an issue. The teams that can stay healthy will have a huge advantage but look for the kids to get some game time as the year goes on. This will be a regular series for the season looking at the season in eight-game blocks. With so many games in a short amount of time hopefully, you enjoy the quick recap. If you want a recap of each game try out this look at the recent loss to the Caps. With that stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!

Featured image courtesy of Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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