It’s okay to get excited about this hockey club, Boston Bruins fans.
Bruins fans are notoriously hard to please when it comes to their favorite hockey club, and there were times in the middle of this regular season when the knives were most definitely out for a team floundering around .500 hockey. Rightfully so with some very real and significant holes on the NHL roster as the core group tried to push through while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. But the Bruins are now 16-5-1 in 22 games, regular season and playoffs, since acquiring Taylor Hall, Mike Reilly and Curtis Lazar and they dispatched the Washington Capitals in fives while looking strong in pretty much every area of the game aside from team discipline.
So, this humble hockey writer, who was not bullish on this team’s chances at the start of the year, officially gives every last curmudgeonly Boston Bruins fan permission to get a little amped up about this hockey team’s Stanley Cup chances.
“I’m officially allowing Bruins fans to get really excited about this @NHLBruins team because I really think they have a long run ahead of them.”
— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) May 24, 2021
Certainly, the Black and Gold will play a good team in the second round whether it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins or the New York Islanders, and there are deep, elite hockey teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche that could give the Bruins all they can handle somewhere down the line.
But the Bruins are a deep, very talented hockey team playing their best hockey at the right time of year. It’s something that has even Boston Bruins management pretty excited about the prospects that away them over the next few months.
“I’m proud of the group for fighting through all adversity during the course of the season and trying to play their best hockey as we went down the stretch in some challenging situations. The amount of games that we were playing and the amount of injuries we were facing, we were fortunate that we added some players and some depth,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “They integrated very well and the leadership group and everyone was on the same page. You could tell right from the start of the playoffs that we were ready to play. I mean, we lose Game 1, you go to overtime in Game 2, Game 3. You know the emotional rollercoasters that exist when one shot can make it or break. Then you see the performances [in Game 5] of Tuukka [Rask] and Bergy in particular, Pasta [David Pastrnak] scores an incredible goal.
“We didn’t play our best hockey game [in Game 5], but boy oh boy, the guys that were penalty killing — everybody played their roles and did what they needed to do to get a win. We were led by some great individual performances, but I think the team overall has trended in the right direction. You have to be healthy; you have to stay healthy through the whole process and get some bounces to go your way and make some luck. I think the depth of our club we addressed at the deadline, and hopefully if we get rid of the injuries, we’ll have some other players that can step in and play some roles. But overall, the team has played well, and the players deserve an awful lot of credit, and the staff [deserves credit] for getting them ready.”
So, with Boston Bruins allowed to get amped up at this point, here are the BHN Puck Links:
*Apparently Ryan O’Reilly created some bulletin board material for the Colorado Avalanche prior to their playoff series. That probably wasn’t a good idea given how good the Avs are at this point. (Colorado Hockey Now)
*The Boston Bruins are a wagon at this point, but they are most definitely taking too many penalties. That is something that will need to be tightened up as they advance through the postseason. (Boston Hockey Now)
*It sounds like Nassau Coliseum is increasing capacity for their home games as they head for a Game 6 chance to eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boy, this is going to be a great second round series if both buildings are packed with hockey fans. (NYI Hockey Now)
*Good for the NHL fining Pat Maroon for this absolute cheap shot on old friend Noel Acciari at the end of the last Panthers/Lightning.
Anthony Duclair’s cheap shot on Nikita Kucherov: $0.00 pic.twitter.com/GNB7sOqWs6
— CHRIS TORELLO (@TorelloSports) May 25, 2021
*What is a new contract going to look like for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Edmonton? That is an interesting question to ask. (ESPN.com)
*This scrum with Auston Matthews taking a seat with a big smile on his face made me laugh. I’m posting it for no other reason than that.
Auston Matthews having the time of his life getting taken down by Shea Weber pic.twitter.com/whhE4Q1WK2
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 25, 2021
*What a big “get” for Turner Sports as they will be adding “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky to their studio show for their NHL coverage. (Awful Announcing)
*For something completely different: Interesting piece about the state of the traditional news media in Chicago where it sounds like it’s on life support. (Barrett Sports Media)