After a disappointing December and start to January the Boston Bruins are finally hitting the ice in good stride. Overtime losses to Ottawa and Carolina were real wakeup calls to the struggling B’s who were 4-2-4 in the 10 game stretch that included those losses. Six of the 10 games in that stretch went to overtime and only two of them resulted in wins.
Things were looking pretty bleak and it was made worse by the fact they were about to run into some teams with far more skill than the majority of those they had just been struggling against. It seemed like an impossible request for the B’s to take two points away from the Penguins. But they played tough and took the game to overtime where they were able to finish it off for the win. They easily handled a struggling Devils team and then held a couple of the top scorers in the league to one goal beating the Flyers 3-1 with a lot of help from David Pastrnak’s first two NHL goals.
Photo: Kim Klement USA Today
Riding their first three game win streak since mid-November the tough games aren’t over yet. Tonight they face a Tampa team that is on top of the Eastern Conference. The Lightning’s top five scorers all have more points than Patrice Bergeron’s team leading 31 points for the Bruins. That’s a lot of fire power to go up against when you’re the Bruins and seemingly can’t compete in a high flying, high scoring shootout.
The rest of the week won’t be against teams at the top of the league but Thursday they are up against the red hot New York Rangers who are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games. They are 13-2 in their last 15 games which included an eight game win streak. Their last loss was against Dallas in late December and have won five in a row since then. Three of those five wins came against the murderer’s row of L.A., Anaheim, and San Jose on the road in California. The Bruins haven’t been able to have success on their West Coast road trip for a few years now.
The last game of their home stand before the All-Star break seems like a cake walk against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are occupying the bottom third of the Eastern Conference standings, but looks can be deceiving. When the Bruins took on the Jackets a few weeks ago it was an embarrassing 6-2 drubbing. That game saw a goalie change in the midst of four goal second period, clearly the Bruins problem period thus far in the season.
Being able to play tough games and win against teams like Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Detroit as they have in the past few weeks proves that the Bruins have the personnel and the skill to win against the top teams of the league. This week will be another chance to prove they can not only make a run at the playoffs but deserve a spot in the post season.
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