With football season having ended three weeks ago, most sports fans have made the full transition over to hockey or basketball. While the Celtics have dropped three out of four in the last 10 days, the Bruins find themselves on a streak that has seen them drop two regulation games in the past two months. Two months! That’s insane, especially from a team that many projected was a borderline playoff team at best coming into the season. Boston is 22-3 in regulation games since Dec. 18, with notable wins coming against the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.
Boston has proved during this streak that they can compete with any team in the league. Their three losses in overtime and the shootout have come against Washington, Pittsburgh and Dallas, all considered top 10 teams in the league by most pundits.
Boston has been able to maintain their success because of balanced play on both sides of the puck. They currently rank No. 6 in goals scored (191), while holding the top spot in goals allowed (142). There was talk in late November of having Tuukka Rask benched for the long haul in favor of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, and those talks seem like they took place ages ago now. Despite losing his 21-game point streak to the Sabres a week ago, Rask is playing some of the best hockey of his career for Boston. Since the Bruins began their 20-2 run in regulation, Rask has started in 17 games, allowing 31 goals, which is good for a 1.82 goals-against average.
Despite getting blown out against Vancouver on Saturday, Boston once again failed to go down in the following game. Sometimes losing to a team as bad as Vancouver can shake the confidence of a young team like the Bruins, but they showed their resilience against Edmonton on Tuesday night. Entering the period trailing 2-0, Boston rattled off three straight goals including center David Krejci’s game winner in the final 90 seconds, which gave them the 3-2 victory. The win lifted the team’s overall record to (37-13) which is good for second behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team is currently tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for second in the league with 82 points, trailing only Tampa Bay, who has 83.
The team is led by veterans Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who are at the top of the ranks in both goals scored and total points earned. In his fourth season, right wing David Pastrnak has also emerged as an offensive threat for the team. He notched 34 goals a season ago, and is currently tied for second on the team with 22 this year. The 21-year-old has found himself in multiple scoring slumps throughout the season, but has the potential to be a consistent force for this team moving forward.
The Bruins have been a fun team to watch all season long, and time will tell if they can carry this momentum into the playoffs. Regardless, this Boston team has a bright future ahead of them.