After taking five out of six points in Western Canada, the Boston Bruins are in a Stanley Cup playoff spot for the first time all season.
They have at least two games in hand on the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets team trailing them just outside the playoff structure, and actually see themselves in a pretty decent spot right now all things considered.
It hasn’t been easy with an NHL regular season schedule that’s been littered with fits and starts over the first few months, a roster that experience an extreme amount of turnover last offseason and a head coach that’s been out of action for weeks due to COVID-19 protocol. But credit where it’s due for the Black and Gold, who rallied around assistant head coach Joe Sacco while utilizing the entire roster to grind out the points.
Case in point was last weekend’s win over the Flames when the fourth line pounded out a pair of goals in victory and the defenseman produced a pair of goals with Connor Clifton and Charlie McAvoy carrying the day. With the goaltending also hitting their high point of the season, the Bruins are riding a five-game point streak (3-0-2) in their best stretch of the season.
Names like Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh and Curtis Lazar all over the score sheet lets everybody know that the Boston Bruins were doing things the right way.
🎥 Brad Marchand meets with the media following the #NHLBruins 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in their road trip finale: “Guys did the little things right. That’s what we’ve been harping on is taking care of the details.” pic.twitter.com/ThOLZc68sg
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 12, 2021
“Guys did the little things right. That’s what we’ve been harping on is taking care of the details. The details are what win games and our group has done a good job of that the last few games,” said Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who had two goals and three points along with a plus-3 rating in the three games after returning from his three-game suspension for slewfooting. “It was a little bit of everything. We’ve put a lot of pucks on net and haven’t necessarily got the breaks you hope for as a group, but if you keep doing the right things and keep putting pucks on net, eventually they’re going to go in.”
Little things like driving the net, board battles, tying up defenders and funneling shots on net have finally started turning into even strength goals like the four that the Black and Gold scored against the Flames. That’s been a rarity for a Bruins team that’s been riding their special teams units over the last few weeks and sits 28th in the NHL currently with just 41 5-on-5 goals in 24 games played this season.
All that being said, it isn’t sustainable to expect that the Boston Bruins are going to keep on winning if they’re allowing 40 shots per game as they did in the wins over Edmonton and Calgary, and in three out of their last five games played. And now the Boston Bruins have the added drama of the Flames team they beat on Saturday suddenly shutting down for this week amidst a mini-COVID breakout on their team.
But a win is a win is a win for a Boston Bruins hockey club that needs to begin accumulating points and was struggling to find a foothold in the season’s first few months.