The Boston Bruins have hit the quarter mark of this compacted regular season and things are going pretty darn well for the Black and Gold.
They lead the East Division with 22 points, and they’ve dropped just two games in regulation in the first month of play. The Bruins hold a seven-point cushion for a playoff spot at this point and they acknowledge they aren’t even truly playing their best hockey of the season, a point underscored by Bruce Cassidy playing mixologist with the forward lines this week during some idle days prior to Thursday night’s date at TD Garden against the New Jersey Devils.
“I like that we’re finding ways to win, getting points, staying in games and then coming when we need to,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “What we haven’t been able to do is extend leads to make it easier finishing [some] nights. Credit to the other teams, obviously, because we’re playing in a very good division.
“We could be a little better, and obviously we’ve talked about it a lot with the 5-on-5 scoring. Some nights we’ve had it and it’s really helped us extended the leads. Some nights we’ve needed more of it. We’ll address the areas that we can do more of that and get better there. All in all, we like where we are. We’ve played good, solid Bruins hockey and played to our identity. We’ve built some young players into the mix here that are doing well for us and haven’t really relied on one area of the game. Our special teams have been solid, goaltending and team defense [as well], but we’ve also had some timely scoring. Now we just need to spread it out a little more.”
In other words, it’s the same old issues for a Boston Bruins team looking to diversity their scoring, round out their depth and get more production beyond the Perfection Line and the power play. Some things change and some things stay the same for the Black and Gold.
With that in mind, here are the grades for the Boston Bruins players at the quarter mark: