So far, so good this season for the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins are out to a 3-1-0 start to the season, most recently handing the San Jose Sharks their first loss of the season last Sunday.
However, you look at the next three games that the Bruins have to finish the first month of the season, and it will be a trust test for this team going against two teams that have yet to lose.
Up next is a game down in Sunrise on Wednesday against the Florida Panthers, who are 6-0-0 to start this season. Boston plays the Carolina Hurricanes, who are also undefeated at 5-0-0, the next night in Raleigh. Finally, to end October, the Bruins host the same Panthers team on Saturday.
The next three games will be telling where the Bruins are at
Yes, the Bruins have looked extremely good so far. They’re winning games while already dealing with the injury bug. The top players are playing at an elite level. The two goaltenders have played solid. And they’re even getting some depth scoring at a better rate than what we saw last year.
However, they have yet to play the big dogs in the Eastern Conference, and the two games against Florida and one against Carolina will be excellent measuring sticks to see just how good the Bruins stack up.
Florida has looked about as dominate as it can be. They’re undefeated, not just with wins against scrubs, but victories over the Penguins, Islanders, Lightning and Avalanche. Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight have sub-2.00 GAA and SV% over .920. Each are playing at a high level and look like they have the potential to be the early favorites for a Jennings Trophy for best goaltending tandem.
Not only that, but through six games, five players are averaging a point per game – Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Bennett, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and rookie Anton Lundell. Florida has outscored its opponents 27-12 to start the season. They were expected to be a Cup contender and look like it early on.
With the Hurricanes, it’s similar to the Panthers in that their offense has been clicking and they have received elite goaltending. Frederik Anderson has looked a lot more like his old self, going a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.75 GAA and .946 SV% through the first few games.
Five Hurricanes have produced at a point-per-game clip so far – Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trocheck and Jaccob Slavin. It’s a scary top-six that the Hurricanes have full of highly-skilled players. And defensively, they’ve allowed just eight goals in five games.
These are the kind of teams Boston is expected to be up against come playoff time. The team’s toughest test so far has been the Philadelphia Flyers, who are considered a bubble team. Florida and Carolina are two elite teams that have played like such to begin the season.
The Bruins have their hands full to end October. But in order to be the best, you have to beat the best. It’ll be three very telling games to end the moth.