The Bruins are simply killing it! With Saturday’s win, they are now riding a league-high 12-game win streak! With that 11th win on Friday, they took the lead of the whole league and became the first team to clinch a playoff spot! This Bruins team is the best since the championship teams of the 70’s. The franchise hasn’t won 11 straight since the 1970-71 season. Two more wins would tie the all-time franchise record 14-game win streak set back during the 1929-30 season! Their current streak is third-longest in franchise history. With the playoffs only a couple of weeks away, there couldn’t be a better time for them to be hitting on all cylinders.
They are playing great, especially considering their #2 shut-down defenseman Dennis Seidenberg has been out since December with a torn ACL and MCL, and defenseman Adam McQuaid has been out since January with an undisclosed leg injury. They’ve had a number of other short-term injuries too. Too the surprise of most, they have gone 23-7-3 since Seidenberg got injured.. and if you disregard the first two of those games, which were losses, it’s a pretty baffling record. Another crazy statistic is that Saturday was the first time in 11 games that the Bruins had allowed a first-period goal. With these defensemen so crucial to both defense in general and the penalty kill, it’s also quite impressive that during this win streak, they’ve killed 34 of 37 penalties.
They’re pretty much doing everything well. In the six games before this last one against the Coyotes, they were never behind at any point in a game. Perhaps even more impressive (depending on how you look at it), is the fact they have trailed in many games and still found a way to win. I guess it’s more impressive to have a streak of never trailing, but it’s still very important that they can manage to win once they’ve fallen behind.
Our goalies have done very well too. Backup goalie Chad Johnson has done exactly what we needed him to: give Tuukka Rask a break here and there and win most of his games. On Friday against the Avalanche in Colorado, he stopped all 31 shots against him, earning his second shutout and 16th win. On Saturday against the Coyotes in Phoenix, Rask stopped 31 of 33 shots against him, earning his career-high 32nd win in his career-high 51st start of the season. He is in the top 10 of every important goaltending statistic (even better if you take out guys who only played one game), and still leads the league in shutouts with six.
The Bruins’ last win was their seventh straight on the road. Further, they have earned points in each of their last 14 road games, going 11-0-3 since their last regulation road loss on January 9 in Los Angeles. Their last loss for all games was March 1 against Washington. They are also 16-4-4 against the Western Conference this season.
This recent streak of great play is thanks to everyone on the team. While the defense and goaltending have been solid, the offense has been great too. As usual with the Bruins, they don’t rely on one or two superstar scorers like other teams. Rather, they have a full roster of guys that contribute. Jarome Iginla, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Milan Lucic all have 20+ goals. By the end of the regular season, we’ll have a few more as well. Reilly Smith is only one away with 19 (what a wonderful surprise he’s been). David Krejci leads the team in points with 60.
In Saturday’s game, Patrice Bergeron scored his 22nd goal, thanks to defenseman Andrej Meszaros (acquired at the trade deadline) not giving up on the play after losing the puck, getting it back, and getting it to the net for Bergeron to jam in. In the third period, down 2-1, beastly defenseman Zdeno Chara took a shot from the blue line and Jarome Iginla tipped it in to tie it up. Worth noting, Chara has 16 goals! ..Yeah, a defenseman. He’s tied for fifth on the team in goals! With about three minutes left, Daniel Paille shot it from a bad angle and Shawn Thornton (who is known as an enforcer/instigator) tipped it in to take the lead. I love seeing Thornton make great plays and score. Everyone who says he’s nothing but a thug can suck it! NONE of the other tough guys in the league have the skill that he does. Soon after, the Coyotes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Jarome Iginla eventually got the puck and scored the empty-netter from center ice for his 28th goal of the season and 558th of his career. He has been on an absolute tear and his goal earlier in the game put him above Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk for sole possession of 25th on the all-time goals list! I really hope they re-sign him after this year. He is a great addition to this team. He’s said he loves it here and you can tell as he’s always smiling, so I suspect he wants to come back. I hope we can get him his first Stanley Cup win because he’s been such a great player for so long (19 years) and he deserves it.. especially if it’s going to be with the Bruins. ;)
By the way, I think you can thank me for this win streak.. I have a number of superstitions, but one is that I have a Bruins t-shirt rotation where I keep wearing one during games until we lose with it, then I move to the next. Well, right before the streak started, I decided to buy a Bruins 2010 Winter Classic shirt (since I was there and never got any souvenirs). Seeing as I was already at the end of my shirt rotation, I added it to the end. I wore it for the first win of the streak and have been wearing for each game since.. and we haven’t lost yet! Yeah, I know. Some of you are saying thanks and some of you are saying I’m ridiculous. Hey, superstition is what it is. When it’s working, you believe in it. It can be quite stressful to keep up with, though. I think the best way to do it is as I do: you believe that certain things can help your team, but you know it’s doesn’t guarantee wins. So I don’t know if this new shirt will get us a win streak lasting the rest of the season (it would be insane if it did), but I’m happy that it’s gotten us this far.. And if we do lose, I just consider the superstition to have helped as much as it did. Anyways, you can thank me! Do any of you readers have superstitions? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m interested to hear.
Now let’s kill those Habs tonight!
[Post 3/24 loss vs. Habs UPDATE:] Figures. As soon as I talk about my superstition our win streak ends. At least it wasn’t a regulation loss, and at least we beat the crap out of them all game (ee video links below), but still. WTF?! So I guess now I have to believe that my shirt rotation works, but only so much, and that I can’t talk about my superstitions on here or they will lose their power. It was weird, the whole team seemed to be a bit out of it. Plus the Habs did their usual thing getting under the Bruins’ skin, but turtling and backing off from any confrontations. P.K. Subban was his usual bitch self, and Alexei Emelin joined him too. More importantly, though, the refs were terrible (or paid off). They called a bunch of nonexistent penalties on the Bruins, and missed a bunch against the Habs, like the blatant and dirty elbow to the face of Daniel Paille. What game were you watching refs?? Great job guys! Also, last night’s game was yet another example of why the shootout needs to be removed from the game. A skills competition shouldn’t decide the winner.. It should be about the team. If it had just been extended overtime I’m pretty sure the Bruins would’ve pulled out the win.
Here’s some videos from the Habs game…
* Habs’ Alexei Emelin’s dirty hit going for Milan Lucic’s knees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0rg-H21MvU&hd=1
* Bruins’ Kevan Miller fights/KO’s Travis Moen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8HrGU3Il1U&hd=1
* Habs’ Mike Weaver’s dirty elbow to the face of Daniel Paille: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgx1cA0Ltns&hd=1&t=11s
* Habs bitch P.K. Subban punches Johnny Boychuk then runs away.. Boychuk slams him to the ice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlcn574l5No&hd=1
* Bruins’ Milan Lucic puts a big revenge hit on Mike Weaver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCbYirTaHPI&hd=1
* Bruins’ Milan Lucic pokes Alexei Emelin who then dives + Brad Marchand shoves P.K. Subban into the ice a few times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt-s4G0HiBo&hd=1
Here’s a video of highlights from Saturday’s game in Phoenix:
Here’s a video of highlights from Friday’s game in Colorado:
Thanks for reading,