Bruins Have Been “On and Off” in Sochi
For the Boston Bruins, hockey at the Winter Olympics has been a mixed bag of success and failure.
Despite leading the Bruins in assists and points, David Krejci hasn’t been able to find any rhythm with the Czech Republic. Jaromir Jagr could be stealing Krejci’s thunder as the 42-year-old has defied human aging with great play. The savvy Bruins forward clearly hasn’t lived up to his customary expectations. At Sochi, he has tallied a uncharacteristic -1 rating, one assist and one shot in three games.
Although Slovakia’s offense has only produced two goals on 78 shots, Zdeno Chara has provided his country with stellar defensive efforts. The 6’9’’ monster holds a -1 rating for all three games played, but he has assisted half of his team’s goals. Additionally, Chara has held court on the blue line as one of his squads most intimidating attackers. As usual, Chara bombards the opposing team with pucks on net. He currently maintains the most shots on goal (6) in comparison to all Slovakian defenseman.
It’s hard to give Patrice Bergeron much credit when his home country enjoys such incredible talent. However, Bergeron has found himself a niche within Canada’s star-studded group as the primary face-off man. He’s exceptional at his craft both internationally in Russia and domestically in the NHL. With the likes of Sidney Crosby and Drew Doughty, the B’s alternate captain has proven that he’s a valuable weapon alongside some of the best forwards in the world.
So far, the Winter Olympics haven’t been an eruption of Loui Eriksson’s dominance. He hasn’t really furnished the Bruins with the most consistent play this year. For this reason, it’s difficult to imagine Loui tearing it up against international opponents. Eriksson hasn’t nabbed any points on the tournament, but looking at the bright side, his home country, Sweden, finished the group stage undefeated.
Tuukka Rask made a forgettable appearance against Austria, letting in four goals on 20 shots. Rask lost his starting job in consequence but then proved his worthiness in a nail-biting loss to Canada. The Bruins’ high-paid goaltender stopped 25 of 27 shots, allowing Finland to keep the score very tight. Rask sets the tone for the competitiveness of the ailing Finns, so in the end, you can’t set your expectations low for the 26-year-old brick wall.
There’s still a great deal of hockey left before the gold medal match occurs in six days. Could most of these players display consistency in the following games? Maybe. Bergeron’s steadiness on the ice will most likely persist. Chara should continue to lead the Slovakian charge. Conversely, I don’t think we can safely predict the future performances of Rask, Eriksson and Krejci. These players could surprise us or completely conform to our predictions.