Do Not Poke the Bear


We are all currently witnessing something special in the 2018-19 Boston Bruins.  The team has been surging since the calendar turned its page into the new year.  The Bruins have been the hottest team in hockey over the last two and a half months and claim the second best record in the NHL.  What is amazing is the Bruins have sustained this level of play for so long without their leading scorer.  The Bruins have adopted a lesson from the Patriots’ philosophy of next man up.  And this could not have happened at a more perfect time.

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The Bruins entered January 1st and the Winter Classic with a 21-14-4 record.  Besides their top line they were producing little to no offense which was a shocking disappointment with all of the young talent on the roster.  The team was even on shaky footing with their starting goaltender who mysteriously left the team for a multiple day hiatus.  All was not well for the Bruins, and many were beginning to doubt this team and where they would be heading down the home stretch.

The Winter Classic game against the Chicago Blackhawks seemed to be the turning point for this Bruins team.  The unique features of that particular game appeared to be a win that was desperately needed.  The Bruins have been playing playoff caliber hockey and have not taken a loss in regulation since the week of the AFC Championship Game on January 16th.  Along with the uptick and motivation from the current roster, General Manager Don Sweeney did go out and try to add some depth to the Bruins roster.  

Shop for official Boston Bruins team fan gear and authentic collectibles at Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson were acquired via trade.  Johansson has already found his way out of the lineup due to injury but is expected to not miss significant time.  If anything, these two moves will be added depth to ensure the Bruins have reliable players on the ice every night the rest of the way.  This nineteen game point streak has been an enjoyable ride for Bruins fans.  The team will try to make it twenty straight as they head into Pittsburgh Sunday night with a 42-17-9 record to play the Penguins.

Although the Bruins have found an uptick in their play that does not mean that a little magic has not been involved in this point streak.  The team’s last two games have involved some late game heroics to help propel them to a win.  Particularly Thursday night’s game, which included two goals in the final minute, one coming off the stick of Patrice Bergeron as he sniped the game winner with under ten seconds to go.  A David Krejci tip late in the game Saturday night sent the TD Garden faithful home happy as the Bruins skated to a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

The Bruins are a hot ticket right now and look to continue this incredible play through the playoffs.  Although the Bruins have been on this magical run they are still trying to hold off the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second best record in the Atlantic Division.  This is continued motivation to not let the foot off of the gas.  The Leafs enter Sunday only four points back of Boston.  The Bruins have fourteen games remaining in their regular season schedule.  The Bruins are chasing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic, but unless a historical collapse takes place, it appears that the Lightning will lock up the division and the one seed.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a different breed of competition.  The fastest game on earth amps up to an entirely different level as players chase after the prize they covet the most, The Stanley Cup.  The Bruins will need to stay healthy and find the correct line combinations once leading goal scorer David Pastrnak returns from the injury list.  Tuukka Rask will need to remain hot with support from Jaroslav Halak through the month of March to make sure Rask does not burn out.

Winning streaks, or in hockey point streaks, are fun to watch and do garner positive media attention, but they are not essential to a deep playoff run. What is important is the consistent style of play and motivation that is right now fostered within this Boston Bruins roster.  The team will lose another game this season, and that is okay.  But maintaining their identity will be necessary as the games become more important and the stakes rise.  The sleeping bear has woken in Boston, and this playoff season should be a hell of a ride.

Follow Marc on Twitter @mrobes12

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Do Not Poke the Bear
Do Not Poke the Bear
Boston Sports Syndicate
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