Jaden Schwartz chips the puck around Brad Marchand and into the Bruins zone. Schwartz regains control and drop the puck back to Alex Petrangello. Petrangello shifts to his backhand and puts the puck over Tuukka Rask’s blocker. The St. Louis Blues score with 7.9 seconds left in the first period and extend their lead to 2-0. Minutes pass, and it’s more of the same. Finally, the game is over. The Blues capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Last year, the Bruins season ended in a heartbreaking game seven loss. History shows that most professional teams who lose in the championship also suffer slow starts in the next year. Unlike these teams, this is not the case for the Bruins, who are currently leading the loaded Atlantic division. As of today, the Bruins are 15-3-5 and hold a controlling six-point lead on the second place Florida Panthers.
There is no question that the Bruins are powered by their superstar line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastranak. Sure, the Bruins have relied heavily on their first line to produce most of the scoring, but they’ve gotten a ton of offensive help from guys like Torey Krug and David Krecji, both of whom played key roles in the Bruins comeback win over the Wild.
On this past Saturday night, the Bruins trailed the Minnesota Wild late in the third period. Down 4-2 and desperate for some offense, the Bruins pulled Tuukka Rask with around three minutes remaining in the final period. Krecji scored his first goal of the night with 1:55 left on the clock off a rebound from Pastrnak. 48 seconds later, Krecji scored the equalizer off a one-timer from the left corner. In overtime, Krug weaved through the Wild to score a coast-to-coast. It was a great comeback and a game to remember, but the Bruins are going to need more than some late game heroics if they want to get back to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Bruins can also credit their goaltending to their recent success. The combination of Rask and Jaroslav Halak makes the best goalie duo in the league. Rask has a save percentage of .928, while Halak isn’t far behind with a very impressive .924. Both goaltenders have made clutch saves in important moments of the game. Rask and Halak are each giving up an average of two goals a game, which ranks them in the top half of the league in that category.
The Bruins have all the pieces to be a Stanley Cup team, but championships aren’t won in November. The Bruins have looked impressive as the first quarter of season concludes, but they need to build off this momentum in order to bring Lord Stanley’s trophy back to Boston.