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Who Are These Guys?

Posted by Radatz on January 20, 2018 at 10:05 PM

It wasn't so many years ago that the Bruins would look like world-beaters until Christmas. Then, slowly but surely, the rest of the league would catch up, they'd struggle to make the playoffs and get knocked out in one round. Then came a few glory years. More recently they developed the habit of folding totally at the very end. And the thought of beating old nemesis Montreal three times in a week has almost always been a major pipe dream.

It's 2018. It's January. Since December 16, Boston has gone 12-0-4. That's 28 points in 16 games. Their record has gone to 27-10-8, second in the Eastern Conference with at least one game in hand over anyone within 10 points.

And they just beat Montreal 4-1, their 3rd win over the Habs in 8 days (one an OTW).

The top line of Marchand, Pasternak and Bergeron is expected to be good and, so far, has been. The fourth line of Acciari, Kuraly and Schaller not only plays well but is winning games for the team. Neither goalie is at the top of league stats, but the team has allowed the fewest goals against owing mostly to having allowed the fewest shots on net.

It has a lot to do with the coach it seems. Under Cassidy they've abandoned the slow, cautious approach practiced under Julien and are scoring. Yet the defensive stats are better. A small core of veterans is being propped up by a swarming cadre of kids playing fast team hockey. So far, other than the draft-rigged Golden Knights, they are the surprise of the league. Can it last? Time will tell, but so far in an up-and-down season the downs have been followed by progressively bigger ups, the latest the biggest. And in virtually every game they've been fun to watch. Who saw that coming?

They could patch some holes, or at least one would think so. Krejci has been relegated to icing on a cake when he's healthy. Resident brontosaurus Chara has been playing well lately after seemingly fossilizing over large portions of the past two seasons. Krug continues to score and to provide scoring chances for the bad guys. The return of McQuaid has provided a big boost for the defense, an indication the group may need more.

But kids like McAvoy, Carlo, Miller etc. have continually improved, a big part of Boston's defensive push, and the end of that process is probably years away. Despite the dinosaurs, the future suddenly looks promising. Even the present is starting to look hopeful.

Categories: NHL Blogs

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Reply Ferociousjane
11:01 PM on January 20, 2018 
Sorry about Red Fisher, Scurds.
Cassidy says it is all about team chemistry :)
Reply vapor5
7:06 AM on January 21, 2018 
Cassidy has paid some dues.
rad- I think we've covered this over the years but I'm still puzzled at the Seguin trade a few years ago.I noticed he scored the OT winning goal when his Stars edged Boston 3-2 on MLK day.
Reply Radatz
1:33 PM on January 21, 2018 
Not a Claude kind of guy, Vap :)

Good thing he kept Marchand at least.
Reply the immortal scurds
9:16 PM on January 21, 2018 
trying to post but its not going well. i will be back
Reply the immortal scurds
10:08 PM on January 21, 2018 
?When things would go wrong for the team or for me, I would search for answers,? ?If I couldn?t find them, I would say to myself: ?I wonder what Red thinks? and wait for the next day?s paper. I never did that with anyone else.? -ken dryden. now thats what u call an endorsement. red and danny gallivan thats canadian hockey for me far more than the leafs. in the 2 channel days on the east coast u watched the habs. and it was fun because they won every time. lol. red fisher's gone, danny's gone, and their canada is gone too.
Reply the immortal scurds
10:18 PM on January 21, 2018 
great title rad. i admit, i havent turned to hockey deeply yet, but the time has come. i've seen a few pretty clever pieces on who the canadiens r, and a few people make a case for the 2011 julien coached bruins. they flirted with lucic in the off season. lucic, andrew shaw and shea weber.
druin is a young player with sky-high potential. tyler seguin in other words.. Both players were also top-three picks in their respective draft classes. They can (allegedly) play centre and wing.
cast gallagher as brad marchand and carey price can be tim thomas......
Reply the immortal scurds
10:22 PM on January 21, 2018 
losing to the bruins 3x in 8 days says it all. basically, no balls, no character, no team leadership. yup thats match paxoretty. its ironic that a team that has been looking for depth at center now has to look at trading their no 1. habs r stalled at mediok, have been for awhile.
Reply Radatz
1:03 AM on January 22, 2018 
This was a team that had 103 points last year. Right now they're on pace for 77. Bruins had 95 (after rallying under Cassidy) and are on pace now for 113.

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