Boston Bruins: Just In Time For Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving. For the Boston Bruins, it is the unofficial measuring stick for teams in the NHL. If the team is on the right side of the playoff line going into turkey day, it usually means that they’ll be around in the postseason.

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Things weren’t looking good for the Boston Bruins last week. The Bruins were playing inconsistent hockey and the puck luck wasn’t there for them. They were holding the ninth place standing in the Eastern Conference, a place they ended up at the end of last season.

Then the Black and Gold started playing like every game mattered. The Bruins played two strong games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild. While the Bruins weren’t playing their best hockey they were able to grind out two more wins. The B’s pulled out a shootout win against the Leafs and then surprised the Detroit Red Wings in overtime.

Four games. Eight huge points. Those points helped vault the Black and Gold up the standings of the division and conference. The Bruins are now in third in the Atlantic, good enough for an automatic berth if this was the end of the season. The Bruins have risen three spots in the East, and are now in sixth position.

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2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup /

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  • The biggest reason for the Bruins recent rise in the ranks has been the goaltending. Tuukka Rask is finally playing like a Vezina winner. He’s won three of his last four starts, and his save percentage is finally at .900. His goals against is under three, and his consistency is making life easier for the B’s.

    Jonas Gustavsson has continued to be reliable as well in net. He’s won four out of his last five starts, and has a respectable .920 save percentage.  While he’s not challenging Rask for the number one spot, the Bruins trust him as much as they do Rask. Now, the Bruins can finally start to feel comfortable about their crease police.

    That’s a welcome relief to Bruins president Cam Neely. Just a few weeks ago, he was lamenting on the Tyler Seguin trade. Now, he has to be breathing a little easier since Loui Eriksson put up a hat trick in the Bruins current win streak. He’s seen brand new players Landon Ferraro and Frank Vatrano step up big for the Bruins. Ferraro with his work on Marchand’s goal against the Maple Leafs and Vatrano’s two big goals against the Red Wings.

    The Bruins road game is still strong. The B’s are 8-2-0 while on the road. Their penalty kill has also been solid these last four games. The Bruins penalty kill has risen five and a half points to 75.6%, and they’re out of the doghouse (now occupied by Dougie Hamilton and the Calgary Flames) for having the worst penalty kill in the league.

    Even with the recent surge, the Bruins are still nowhere near at one hundred percent. Defenseman Kevan Miller is still out of the lineup, and young Bruins forward David Pastrnak will likely be out to the beginning of December. While the Bruins are still playing Jekyll and Hyde hockey, the B’s have seen a lot more of the doctor and a lot less of the monster on the ice this last week.