The Bruins have hit a bump in the road as of late, with some saying it’s more like a slump. With a team that has been playing so well throughout the season, it really is not accurate to call it a slump, at least not yet. The fans are just so immune to the B’s winning, that it seems surreal when they actually lose a game.
Boston still sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 72 points. The New York Rangers sit on top of the East with 81 points. It will be hard for any team to catch the Rangers for the prime spot in the Conference, which is why Boston should concentrate solely on locking up the Northeast Division and clinching the second seed.
The Bruins have gone 9-10-1 in their last 20 games. During that time, they have made some roster changes within the organization. Defenseman Steven Kampfer was sent back down to Providence (AHL) in order to get some more ice time. They recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk, a player who has yet to see action in the NHL this season.
The change in the lineup was a result of the poor play that has been present on the Bruins’ blue line as of late. Captain Zdeno Chara has only recorded three points and possesses a minus-7 rating in the month of February. Joe Corvo has also had a very forgettable start to the second half of the season.
The Bruins are 1-2-0 on their current six-game road trip. They have recorded 115 shots on goal in those three games, but only managed to net five goals. The problem is that they are running into hot goaltenders, night after night. In their recent 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild, Boston unloaded 48 shots on goaltender Niklas Backstrom. They just could not find the back of the cage.
“We are getting our chances,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “We are just getting frustrated that we are not putting away our shots. We just have to keep working.”
During the first game of their six-game road trip against the Montreal Canadiens, Bruins forward Rich Peverley suffered a sprained MCL when he collided with Hal Gill. He is scheduled to miss four to six weeks. Josh Hennessy was recalled from Providence to take his place on the roster.
Nathan Horton still remains out with concussion-like symptoms. These injuries have caused some inconsistency with the way the lines are flowing during the games. Most notably, center David Krejci only has one goal in his last nine games; he usually skates with Horton and Milan Lucic on the top line.
The goaltending has been inconsistent as well. Tuukka Rask, who once led the NHL in goals against average, has lost his last three starts.
We should expect the Bruins to be active at this year’s trade deadline which is next Monday, February 27, at 3 pm.