Following a below average start, in which the reigns of the “Stanley Cup Hangover” were clearly noticeable, the Boston Bruins have once again fought through adversity and hit their stride.
Now winners of eight games in a row, recording 22 total points, the Bruins sit tied for the seventh/eighth spots in the Eastern Conference with the Ottawa Senators.
Not only have the Bruins climbed up the rankings, they’ve shot up the statistical chart as well. The Bruins now sit second in the NHL with a 3.44 goals-per-game average, and stand fourth in the league in total defense with a 2.11 goals-allowed-per-game average. The team also leads the NHL in five-on-five goals for/against ratio with a nifty 1.81 mark.
It’s safe to say that the Bruins have regained their Stanley Cup form, turning heads league-wide, as they perform at their highest level of capability in multiple facets of the game.
This week’s rewind will focus on three victories for the Bruins: Games against the New Jersey Devils on 11/15/11, the Columbus Blue Jackets 11/17/11, and a shellacking of the New York Islanders on 11/19/11.
Hat Trick: Three Bruins on the Rise
Playing along side Rich Peverley and Benoit Pouliot (or Jordan Caron), Kelly has put together one heck of a start to the regular season. Kelly has seven goals and six assists totaling for 13 points, well on his way for career highs in his ninth NHL season.
It seems unbelievable that Kelly would be on a 32 goal pace so far, but his consistent play and minutes combined with strong line mates has him playing his most balanced hockey as a Bruin since the Montreal series.
Kelly recorded two goals and an assist in Saturday night’s 6-0 victory of the Islanders, while also playing a crucial role in victories over the Devils and the Blue Jackets.
Steady as they come, Campbell is a “fourth line” player whose been consistently overlooked due to his lack of stat-sheet production, and lack of flashy play; but that doesn’t mean Campbell’s worth isn’t as valuable as the next guy on a Stanley Cup contending hockey team.
In a 4-3 victory over New Jersey in which the “big guns” of the Bruins were failing to put the puck in the net, Campbell not only came up huge on the penalty kill, but his five-on-five play was fantastic and he notched two assists on two of the Bruins four goals.
Campbell continued his strong play against both the Blue Jackets and the Islanders, so he is most definitely deserving of this weeks’ “Hat Trick” honors.
The Goaltending Duo
Tuukka and Timmy. Tuukka and Timmy. Tuukka and Timmy. Is there any goaltending duo in the NHL you could possibly want more than these two? It’s hard to argue against them, and their stout production truly showed this past week in net.
Granted it wasn’t against some of the league’s top-tier offenses, but giving up only four goals in three games was mighty impressive by the duo and they topped it off with a Tim Thomas shutout victory over the Islanders in Long Island on Saturday.
The Bruins skaters brought one of their worst efforts of the season on Thursday against the Blue Jackets, but Rask was absolutely phenomenal leading them to victory. Rask shut the door on an abundance of Blue Jacket’s scoring chances, and was even more impressive in the shootout as he clamped to victory.
The Bruins goaltending duo set the tone in net and helped lead the Bruins to their current eight game winning streak.
Goal Of The Week: Patrice Bergeron Saturday Against the New York Islanders
Watch as Tyler Seguin makes himself available to Bruins defensemen, corrals a pass from line mate Brad Marchand, flies up the ice past the whole Islanders team and dishes a terrific backhand saucer pass to Patrice Bergeron who roofs it for the goal. We should perhaps call this the “Assist Of The Week.”
Scroll to the 15 second mark to watch Seguin begin the magical play from his own end.
Fight Of The Week: Shawn Thornton squaring off against Jared boll
Courtesy of hockeyfights.com