It’s been an interesting roller coaster ride for the Boston Bruins coming into the Christmas break. The Bruins(25-10-2)currently have a tenuous three point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for the lead in the Atlantic Division. In the Eastern Conference, they are currently in second place overall, three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of those keys to their success has been their defensive minded approach to the game. They have the lowest goals against total in the conference (77) and the second lowest in the league.
Another strength of the Bruins has always been their ability to meet challenges head on. The team has been plagued with injuries throughout the season, forcing the Boston Bruins to reach deep into the talent roster of their AHL Providence affiliate. While other teams have had been placed in this position, few have had the success that the Black and Gold have had.
That young talent has surprised many in the Bruins organization. Ryan Spooner, with only ten games of NHL experience this season already has seven points to his credit. Kevan Miller, Matt Fraser, and Nick Johnson have also done credit to the organization by showing the great depth the franchise has at its AHL level. The Boston club has already made a tough choice to send Miller back down to Providence, and they’ll have another tough choice ahead when they decide the fate of Spooner. Several NHL clubs would snatch him up if he was put on waivers, and it may force the Bruins to decide if it’s Spooner or Jordan Caron that remains in the franchise.
The injuries have hurt the Bruins though. Loui Eriksson has been sidelined twice by severe head hits. There is no set time table for his return. Dougie Hamilton will be out for another few weeks with his lower body injury. Chris Kelly will be out for another three weeks to a month with his broken leg. There is some good news though. Daniel Paille should be back in the game after the break or shortly after the new year.
We’ve got a lot to be thankful Bruins Nation. Thanks to all those who wear Black and Gold and have a very happy holiday season.