The Bruins are currently on their bye week and they’ve been on fire riding a 11point streak. The Bruins were a mystery heading into this season and now they appear to be an actual contender. Their blend of youth and veterans is starting to click and players are developing real chemistry. This Bruins team is running on all cylinders but the bye week can either throw off their game and create rust or give them some much needed rest but we won’t find out until Saturday night. I do find the timing of the bye week strange though, the Bruins have played the fewest games in the NHL and yet they are the first team to have a bye week? Whatever though lets look at what Bruins players have been performing well so far this year.
No surprise the top three Bruins point scorers are on the same line Marchand (40) Pastrnak (39) and Bergeron (32). These three have been carrying the Bruins the [past two seasons but this year they have actually had a supporting cast as young guys like Danton Heinen, Jake Debrusk and Charlie McAvoy have been chipping in with points left and right. Veterans Riley Nash and David Backes have also seen big boosts in production playing alongside those younger guys. The Bruins offense as a whole is in a good spot, over their 11 game point streak they’ve put up 47 goals. Not only has there offense been playing well but there defense has been no slouch either.
The defensive core of the Boston Bruins has changed this season and it has changed for the better. No longer is the Bruins blue line stacked with slow skaters who can only check, there is now a blend of young puck moving defenseman with stay-at-home defenseman. It creates the ability for the Bruins to move the puck quickly out of the zone and protect their goalie in their own end. Rookies McAvoy and Grzelyck have been exceptional and the Boston University products look to be mainstays in the NHL for years to come. Kevin Miller is finally flourishing in a system that lets him play his natural side of the ice and Chara isn’t showing too man signs of aging. Torey Krug is looking good once again and has good chemistry with his partner Brandon Carlo. This core has played great together and because of that the Bruins rank 2nd in shots against per game and 3rd in goals against per game. The only question remaining on defense is what the Bruins plan to do with Adam McQuaid.
In net Tuukka is finding his game after a strong month of December. He had a rough start against the Penguins on Saturday but while he did let in some soft goals he kept the Bruins in that game. He staved off an onslaught from the Pens offense in the 3rd making 15 stops on a large amount of possession time for the Pens. Rask’s numbers on the season speak for themselves as he’s in the top 10 for SV% and GAA amongst starting goalies. Rask has returned to a high level of play, Khudobin has been good as well and the Bruins have needed a competent backup for a while now. Khudobin has played great and even challenged Rask for starts earlier on in the year. Khudobin’s play has afforded the Bruins the opportunity to rest Rask and not overwork him. The Bruins need to get solid play from their goalies to remain contenders.
The Bruins return to action on Saturday night against the rival Montreal Canadiens at 7:30. The Habs have been brutal this year and the Bruins need to beat bad teams to prove their real contenders.
Written By: Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)