Twenty two games down and what do we know about the Boston Bruins. We know that despite the panic that set into the fandom when a two game losing streak hits, that all it takes is a couple of solid wins and everything is back to normal in Boston Hockey land. The Bruins settled the bridge jumpers by not allowing the third period breakdowns that lead to all three of their regulation losses. Solid goaltending from both Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask and the number two line being upgraded to the number one line as Bergeron centering Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand has produced a mountain of points (38) in their last ten games. Seguin has six goals and 13 points in his last 11 games.
Obviously the scoring has been their, its just as the coach says, putting together a full 60 minute effort consistently! Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins did exactly that in all phases of the game. Tuukka Rask was stout in goal on the limited number of chances Boston’s defense allowed, whether on the power play or even strength. Tyler Seguin continues his torrid pace with another power play goal, his 8th on the year. Even better was the contributions from the third and fourth lines as Chris Kelley & Daniel Paille each potted a goal. Since the start of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Kelly scores, Boston is a remarkable 26-0-0, according to brilliant stat man @MichaelSBerger. Kelly knows and even says “I need to score more” in order for the Bruins to continue their winning ways. Without those contributions from lines 3 & 4, well, teams will put their best checkers on the top lines and if the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Seguin can’t fight through those checks, the Bruins are in trouble.
So far, the team has been able to avoid a losing streak of any significance and Claude Julien remains steady in his coaching philosophy of rolling four lines, playing in your own end is as important as any other place on the ice. As frustrating as that can be for fans and media alike, and it takes a lot not to question him, I respect him for not allowing outside sources to influence his decisions of how his brand of hockey should be played. After all, we do have June 15, 2011.
Bostonians have become somewhat spoiled in how they view there teams success. The Bruins will be just fine as long as everyone does the things that are asked of them and get contributions from everyone. With just about half this shortened season gone, there is no reason for panic.