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The Bruins Set Their Eyes On November After A Steady Start


The Boston Bruins are one month removed from the 7-0 spanking they received on opening night from Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The Bruins can only hope that this will be the low point of their season. Entering Saturday the Bruins are 7-3-2 and tied for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Eastern Conference will certainly have some tight races this year, so all points are important even in the first month of the season. The Bruins’ record is solid through thirty days of play and there have been many moments of excitement for fans to be jubilant about. Injuries, goaltending inconsistency and the lack of scorers has also plagued the team through October.


Patrice Bergeron entered the season playing in zero preseason contests and rumors were swirling around the 33 year-old center’s back. Those rumors were quickly hushed as Bergeron has tallied nineteen points through twelve games. As the focal point of the Bruins’ fiery first line, Bergeron continues to deliver for the team. Linemates David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand have sixteen and fifteen points, respectively. The first line is clicking, and has created a great deal of highlights that is causing stressful evenings for opposing goaltenders. The only problem with this is that these three players are the only ones consistently producing. The first line has accounted for 53% of the team’s total points this season. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has rearranged the offensive lines fairly regularly throughout the season to try and change it up. Players like Ryan Donato and Jake DeBrusk have had disappointing starts. Donato has even been sent back down to Providence to hopefully rediscover his knack for finding the back of the net before rejoining the team. The Bruins will need Donato, but he needs to regain the confidence that he brought over from Harvard to end last season.


Photo Courtesy of: Charles Krupa of The Associated Press
No one expected a goaltender controversy this year, with seasoned veteran Jaroslav Halak signing on as the backup goalie. Halak has had a nice career, but has rarely been the go to player and seen the majority of minutes. Halak enters Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators as the projected starter and this will be his ninth start. Halak has been impressive and has yet to lose in regulation. This has not been the case for Tuukka Rask, who enters the day with 3.15 Goals Against Average (GAA). Halak’s GAA is an impressive 1.51. Clearly a discrepancy between the two has begun to grow as Rask has yet another slow start to the year while his backup is flourishing. Tukkaa is currently responsible for all of the team’s regulation losses. Rask almost ultimately always finds his “A” game for spans of time throughout the season. It will be interesting to see how this story line progresses and how Halak holds up against the former Western Conference champions tonight.

Looking at the Bruins’ record and where they lay in the standings we cannot be overly frustrated due to some of the key injuries that have hurt the team through the first month of play. Torey Krug is set to return to the team today after only playing in the first game of the season. The Bruins’ defense does not have excellent depth, so losing a piece like Krug makes it difficult for successful operation. David Backes, who has also missed significant time in the first month, looks to be about ready to return to the team. The most concerning injury of October belongs to defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who has been placed on Injured Reserve with an upper body injury. The 20 year old standout will most likely miss a great deal of games and really leaves the team depleted on the blue line. McAvoy had one goal and five assists through seven games this season. The Bruins and Cassidy will have to get creative with defensive pairings as they move forward without McAvoy in the lineup.

What is exciting about all of this is the Bruins have a long list of exciting players who have yet to really contribute to the team. Boston sits on the doorstep of first place for their division and have been solely reliant on their first line and a backup goalie. If more players like DeBrusk and veteran David Krejci can get going then there will be more assistance spread across the offensive units. Keep your ears open as well for the familiar “Tuukka” chant in the garden after a big save. Rask will find himself, it is just a matter of time. The Bruins have thirteen games slated for the month of November as they try to make a statement that they will be a contending team in the east this season.

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