Mar 8, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Reilly Smith (18)is congratulated by defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) after scoring the game winning goal during the shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Bruins won 4-3 in an overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins Riding High on Five-Game Win Streak

Bruins Playing Great Hockey Right Now

Arriving back from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the Boston Bruins hung at the mercy of the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. They lost to the Caps 4-2 and fell to the Sabres in a 5-4 overtime defeat.

From a fans’ standpoint, there was reason for concern right after the Olympic break. The Sabres were, and still are, the worst team in the Eastern Conference standings. The Capitals can break out dynamic offensive play with NHL leading goal scorer Alex Ovechkin at the helm, but Washington is generally an afterthought in the discussion of the best Eastern teams.

Following issues capturing the edge over these two squads, the Bruins really ramped up their performances in the past week or so, winning five-games in a row and outscoring opponents 24 to 13 according to the Bruins’ game schedule and results.

Clearly, the B’s have realized that they are one of the most formidable teams in the league. Aggressive skating and shrewd wariness in the neutral zone mark their major assets.

The Bruins really thrive in that particular area, the neutral zone, and their ability to cycle the puck effectively in opponents’ zones is exceptional.

In neutral ice, when both defenders and forwards, especially Zdeno Chara, step up to whip the puck forward with intentions of creating transitional odd-man rushes, the Bruins bombard their adversary with excellent scoring opportunities.

Whenever the Bruins grind along the boards, they become capable of setting up a potent passing attack from the blueline down to the high and low slots.

Quickness and determination are the keys here. If the B’s were indecisive on the puck, they would never gather any legitimate shots on goal. Puck movement would turn into a discombobulated mess with little rhythm and space  between players.

In the end, though, the fusion of steadfast presences in both the neutral and opposition’s zone will lead the Bruins’ dominance over the majority of their remaining regular season opponents. The Bruins can’t necessarily rely on defense quite yet, even though Andrej Meszaros manufactured a great debut for himself against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.

Earlier today, Bleacher Report featured columnist Al Daniel touched on the idea that a winning Bruins squad depends on a multi-faceted offensive attack.

In that respect, Daniels is right. The Bruins depend on stellar play from the offensive side by all skaters, forwards and defenseman alike.

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Tags: Andrej Meszaros Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara

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