Boston Bruins: Month Of December Roundup, Additional Notes

Dec 12, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Bruins had another streaky month of December in which they never really found much consistency. What happened during the month of December?

December Record

8-5-3, 19 points

Overall Record

20-15-4, 44 points, tied for second place in Atlantic Division

Game Results

Game 24: Dec. 1: BOS: 2 vs. CAR: 1 [SOW]

Game 25: Dec. 3: BOS: 2 @ BUF: 1 [W]

Game 26: Dec. 5: BOS: 4 vs. FLA: 3 [OTW]

Game 27: Dec. 7: BOS: 3 @ WSH: 4 [OTL]

Game 28: Dec. 8: BOS: 2 vs. COL: 4 [L]

Game 29: Dec. 10: BOS: 1 vs. TOR: 4 [L]

Game 30: Dec. 12: BOS: 2 @ MTL: 1 [OTW]

Game 31: Dec. 14: BOS: 3 @ PIT: 4 [OTL]

Game 32: Dec. 15: BOS: 3 vs. ANA: 4 [L]

Game 33: Dec. 18: BOS: 1 vs. LAK: 0 [W]

Game 34: Dec. 20: BOS: 2 vs. NYI: 4 [L]

Game 35: Dec. 22: BOS: 3 @ FLA: 1 [W]

Game 36: Dec. 23: BOS: 2 @ CAR: 3 [OTL]

Game 37: Dec. 27: BOS: 3 @ CBJ: 4 [L]

Game 38: Dec. 29: BOS: 4 @ BUF: 2 [W]

Game 39: Dec. 31: BOS: 3 vs. BUF: 1 [W]

December Recap

Some Boston Bruins fans, including myself, came into December hoping for different things, but we saw the same inconsistency. Winning in extra time was a problem for the team. The Bruins were a mediocre 3-3 in games that went to overtime or a shootout. This Bruins team has always been a confusing one. They beat teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and even take the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins to overtime in a losing effort. Yet, they lose to teams like the Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs – teams that they should be beating if they want to establish some legitimacy in not just the Eastern Conference, but the NHL as a whole.

Offensive Improvement

On a more positive note, David Krejci, and Ryan Spooner stepped up their games throughout the month of December For Krejci, after having just three goals and fourteen points throughout October and November, he tallied five goals and ten points in December. Sure, it’s four fewer points than in the first two months of the season, but those ten points came in seven fewer games than the fourteen he had in October and November and combined.

Related Story: David Krejci's Hot December

Using the same layout as Krejci, in the first two months of the season, Ryan Spooner had just three goals and eight points in the first twenty-two games. Since then, in six fewer games, sixteen to be exact, Spooner has four goals and eleven points. It can be argued that part of Spooner’s struggles this year have come from the fact that he isn’t playing his natural position, center. The all-around improvement of guys like David Krejci and Ryan Spooner is something that Bruins fans have been yearning for.

Patrice Bergeron is still struggling to consistently find the score sheet, to the surprise of many. An interesting thing to note about his limited goal scoring is that three of his seven goals so far have come against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately for Bergeron, the Bruins wrapped up their season series with the Buffalo Sabres with a sweep on New Year’s Eve with a 3-1 win. So he will have to find a new team, or preferably teams to dominate. Although Bergeron has struggled to score this year, he has three goals in the team’s last five games. Hopefully, he can continue this production into the New Year.

Tuukka being Tuukka

It’s safe to say the Boston Bruins wouldn’t be doing too well, to say the least, if Tuukka Rask wasn’t playing the way he has this season. I don’t get tired writing about it either because it is something I knew we’d see from the former Vezina Trophy winner. December wasn’t the best statistical month of the 2016-2017 season for Tuukka Rask, but it was still a solid one nonetheless. His December numbers looked like this: 7-3-2, 2.25 GAA, .915 SV%. Having that as your worst statistical month of a season is not something to ashamed of. On the season, however, Rask’s stellar numbers are as follows: 19-7-3, 1.92 GAA, .929 SV%. Tuukka Rask continues to work at his case for a second Vezina trophy, but he has some stiff competition. Let’s hope 2017 brings only good things for the backbone of the Boston Bruins.

Injured Players

More from Bruins News

Matt Beleskey still remains out of the lineup with a knee injury. He is around three weeks into his expected six week recovery period. It’s not Beleskey’s scoring that has been missed in the Bruins lineup, but his daunting physical presence. He’ll need to be careful about fighting or sticking up for his teammates when he comes back, as the league has seemed to have banned doing such things. It’s becoming a joke at this point, don’t talk to Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller about it.

David Backes is out indefinitely with a concussion, that he sustained against the Buffalo Sabres this past Friday. Like John-Michael Liles, his concussion diagnosis was that he will be out indefinitely, so it’s yet to be seen how long he will be out for.

Related Story: Bruins Start 2017 Without David Backes

On the defensive side, veteran John-Michael Liles still out with a concussion. Liles is back skating with the team for the first time since suffering a concussion on November 27 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Players returned from injury

Frank Vatrano, Zdeno Chara, and Noel Acciari all returned from injuries throughout the month of December. Their presences have all been felt in different ways, from goal scoring to physical intimidation and steady defensive play. Zdeno Chara’s return arguably being the most substantial return, as he has proven that he is still capable of being a number one defenseman, not letting his advancing age get the best of him.

Next: Boston Bruins: David Krejci Having A Hot December

The New Year could be the first year in a while that we see the Boston Bruins back in the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is still a lot of work to be done to get there. The team left 2016 in the past with a two-game winning streak. The puck drops for the first time on 2017 tomorrow night at the Prudential Center, against the New Jersey Devils. On to 2017. Happy New Year!

*Information as of 1/2/17 at 12:00 PM ET*