Boston Bruins: Bruins stay hot in Atlantic power rankings

BOSTON - OCTOBER 14: Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak, (88, far left) celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks with Bruins teammates Jake DeBrusk (74) and Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period. The Boston Bruins host the Anaheim Ducks in a regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden on Oct. 14, 2019. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 14: Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak, (88, far left) celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks with Bruins teammates Jake DeBrusk (74) and Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period. The Boston Bruins host the Anaheim Ducks in a regular season NHL hockey game at TD Garden on Oct. 14, 2019. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /
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2. Buffalo Sabres

I told you the Sabres would be able to remain at the top of the rankings for the first few weeks of the season. The Sabres currently lead the division in points and have yet to suffer a loss in regulation.

The schedule for the Sabres have been favorable for Ralph Krueger and his team, and they now enter a California road swing that is often a challenge for the Atlantic division.

Like Detroit last week, I do believe the Sabres are playing above their skill level and I expect regression to hit soon. Regardless of when, or if, the regression hits the Sabres, I am a firm believer that at least four teams will represent the Atlantic division in the 2020 playoffs.

If this happens, the most interesting playoff race to watch would likely be the one that secures either of the two wildcard positions.

1. Boston Bruins

Here we are again. The Bruins have not cooled off yet as they own a 5-1-0 record which includes two very impressive home wins against the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks.

The perfection line looks as good as ever, and we continue to see fantastic performances from Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak.

The Bruins have the same 31.25% powerplay percentage as the Tampa Bay Lightning and have followed that up with an also impressive 83.33% penalty kill percentage, both above league average.

As he leads the special team units, Charlie McAvoy is blossoming into being the next greatest Bruins defenseman. Charlie is first on the B’s in blocks, is second in hits, and is clocking a ridiculous 22:17 minutes a game.

The next six-game stretch for the Bruins is perhaps the hardest they’ll face all season and will be a true test of the depth in their lineup.

Luckily Rask was able to avoid a serious injury after the game against the Golden Knights, but David Krejci’s status remains uncertain heading into the weekend. The Bruins will need as many healthy bodies as possible should they want to have success against the Lightning and Maple Leafs.

My Weekend Prediction: Tuukka Rask gets the nod for the second straight game and shuts the door on Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs. The Bruins depth, specifically their third line, shines as Charlie Coyle scores the game winner in an exciting 2-1 win for the Bruins. New week, same mission. Let’s go Boston.