Since the 2003-2004 season, the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference has qualified with between 91 and 94 points every season. During that same five year span, the Northeast division winner has garnered at least 113 points three times and 104 points the other two times. What am I getting at? On pace for 99 points this season, the Bruins have a good jump on a playoff spot, but despite being first in the Northeast right now, they are going to have to step it up over the season’s final months.
The good news is that they currently project as a difficult playoff opponent. Boston is one of only six Eastern Conference teams with a winning record on the road this season (6-4-2… 6-6 though if you count the OT losses as Ls). They also boast one of the league’s stingier defenses and have clearly established themselves as one of the more physical teams. Their PK% (86.1) is easily number one in the East and second in the NHL (behind San Jose), and they are finally getting healthy. On top of all that, after last season’s disappointing end, this year’s team has the experience needed to handle pressure situations.
Check back to Causeway Crowd tomorrow as we will begin part one of the series Better Know A Bruin (a parody of anyone who knows Steven Colbert’s Better Know A District segment). So check back tomorrow and see who’s up!