Sportscaster Dan Patrick liked to use the Spanish phrase “en fuego” when he spoke about teams that were “on fire.” There is no doubt that, after eight games, the Boston Bruins are “en fuego.”
The team has won six out of eight games. They have played the fewest amount of games in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference but are in sixth place in the conference.
Offensively, the Bruins are averaging 3.0 goals per game. Nathan Horton and David Krejci are tied for the team lead in scoring with 9 points each. Milan Lucic has found his scoring touch again. Rookie Jordan Caron has scored 3 very timely goals and fellow rookie, Tyler Seguin, has also contributed 3 goals, one each in three different countries, Czech Republic, United States, and Canada. Three defensemen, Captain Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, and Johnny Boychuk are in the top ten in team scoring. Bruins fans are very happy with how the team not only scores goals but can score them in bunches. The club also seems to have regained its confidence in that when it gets a lead, not only can it hold onto that lead, but build on it too.
They say defense wins championships. If that’s true then this could be a very special season for the Boston Bruins. They also say that stats do not lie and here is a stat that speaks volumes for the hot start the black and gold is enjoying. The B’s overall goals for/goals against differential. The Bruins have scored 24 goals and have allowed just 11. That difference makes the club a plus 13. The Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, and St. Louis Blues are tied for second place in that department with a plus 9. First place overall, in the East, belongs to the Tampa Bay Lighting who has played ten games but is only a plus 5.
Boston is allowing just 1.38 goals against per game. Such a stingy defense is led by none other than goaltender Tim Thomas. Double T’s six consecutive wins ties him with Hockey Hall of Famer Tiny Thompson for most consecutive wins by a Bruins goaltender at the start of the season. Thomas’ statistics are otherworldly. His six wins on the season place him 3rd among all NHL goaltenders but Thomas leads the league in shutouts with 3 (out of six games played.) The netminder from Flint, Michigan has compiled a .984 save percentage. Put that in simpler terms and it means he has stopped an unheard of 182 out of 185 shots taken at him. Those numbers are mind boggling but it gets better. The 36 year old netminder has a goals against average of 0.50. That is an amazing number in any league but to do it at the National Hockey League level is making the hockey world stand up and take notice. Bruins fans, your puckstopper is the talk of all of hockey.
Tim Thomas is healthy this season and back to his Vezina Trophy winning form. This writer is aware that the season is only eight games old for the skaters from Boston but if TT can stay healthy and continue to play at elite level status, he just may win another Vezina and would be the odds on favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League’s most valuable player. Too soon? Ask yourself, who has been more valuable to his team thus far than Tim Thomas? Let’s go one step further, if Thomas can remain consistent, he just may get his name on a third trophy this season. The one trophy all hockey players dream about getting their name engraved upon, the Stanley Cup. Yes, there is a long way to go but this may be one of the most enjoyable seasons to watch in a long time. Enjoy every minute. This team is en fuego and there is no sign of the fire being put out.
On another note, in my last entry, I wrote about the career of Mr. Milt Schmidt and the night held in his honor by the Bruins organization. Here is his reaction to that night http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=659&id=80454.
Tags: Boston Boston Bruins Canada Czech Republic Dan Patrick David Krejci Dennis Seidenberg East Eastern Conference Flint Hart Memorial Trophy Johnny Boychuk Jordan Caron Los Angeles Kings Michigan Milan Lucic Milt Schmidt Nathan Horton National Hockey League NHL St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Tampa Bay Lightning Tim Thomas Tiny Thompson Tyler Seguin United States Vezina Trophy Washington Capitals Zdeno Chara