Boston Bruins: Moving Towards Pittsburgh


The Boston Bruins are getting ready for another home-and-home series this season. While the Bruins have had some success this season with the home-and-home games, they’ll be facing a truly desperate opponent this week. Next up for the Black and Gold is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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The Penguins have had a serious stretch of rough luck this season. (Makes you wonder if Phil Kessel really is cursed.) Kessel and Sidney Crosby are performing well below expectations. Pascal Dupuis had to retire from hockey due to complications over blood clots.  Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t where he needs to be either, and looks to have a concussion.

The Penguins are a surprising 11th in the Eastern Conference, and aren’t even in contention at this point of the season. Still a desperate team has been known to surprise the Bruins (the Edmonton Oilers for example). The Bruins know what they need to do to earn four points and continue to climb up the Eastern Conference ladder.

Claude Julien remains cautiously optimistic. The Bruins weren’t expected to do very well, but have continued to find their rhythm as they play progressively more consistent hockey. The Bruins (unlike the Penguins) are in playoff contention for the moment, and know that while they’ve had some slips and fits, they’re still a team that’s to be reckoned with within the NHL. The B’s are 8-1-3 in their last twelve games, and have done much to erase their early dismal performance.

“Nothing is perfect,” offered the Bruins bench boss on the state of the team. “You don’t have perfect situations even though you’re always looking for them. Overall where we are in the standings with the number of games we’ve played, and with the turnover that we’ve had, I think we’re doing okay. That’s not to say we’re sitting here satisfied.

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  • “By all means we’re going to keep working here, and trying to get better. But there’s nothing to be disappointed about right now. We just need to keep plugging away, and realizing that we can get better here . . . and take advantage of that.”

    The Bruins should be able to take advantage of a foundering team that had just undergone a coaching change. Former Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan is now at the helm, and he’s doing what he can to right the ship. Still, there seems to be a lot going on there. Who would have thought that Brad Marchand would have as many goals as Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby combined? Who would have imagined that both players have still not hit the twenty point plateau this season? (I wonder if Kessel misses Toronto by now?)

    That their point leader is also their leader in penalty minutes should seem like an aberration, but Evgeni Malkin is the only Penguin in double digits for goals so far this season. It’s an ugly mess in Pittsburgh, and by rights the Bruins should be able to collect an easy four points.

    Currently, the Bruins are holding on the fourth spot in the Atlantic and the seventh overall position in the Eastern Conference. As long as the Bruins play to their strengths (and the Pens continue their Buffalonian slide to mediocrity), fans should see the Bruins eat a few birds in the next few days.

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