My tour now takes me to the east. I will be blogging more often so I can go through all the teams in the East, so expect me to change mid-week to another Eastern team. The first team in the East takes me to the North Eastern Conference.
The Boston Bruins -- maybe one of the biggest surprises this season; well in my mind, they were, sorry Bruins Fans. I had no idea of the success this team would have this season, especially with the injury to Bergeron. There is no way I thought they were going to stay in contention for the playoffs.
So what is the reason for the success of the Bruins this season? Well, I have a theory on that. I base their success on three keys. The loss of Bergeron was made up by scoring. Second, solid defensive zone play. The Bruins are a well-coached hockey team who have a solid defensive system. Third, and much of a surprise to me, the Bruins have had great goaltending all season.
Marc was one of the best free agent signings in the off-season, a terrific playmaking center. One of the best passers in the game, he has the vision that makes him a very dangerous weapon for the Bruins in the offensive zone. Marc is a plus 8 this season, meaning he is not a defensive liability as he has been in the past. This season he has matured into being part of a team instead of an I player, making him a very valuable asset to the team this season.
It really burns me up that this young man is in a Bruin uniform. Chuck is probably the most complete player this season. You maybe surprised to hear me say that, but let me back up this statement. Out of his 18 goals, Chuck has scored 5 power play goals, 3 short handed goals and 3 game-winning goals. Plus one more stat: who do you think leads this team in the plus minus category? You guessed it, Chuck Kobasew with a plus 12.
Dennis has changed that one-sided trade a little more closely. Dennis has been better offensively this season with 7 goals and 16 assists, for 23 points. He has been great on the power play with 5 power play goals. He has been very solid in his own zone; a solid hitter, but more importantly, he is a plus 11 in the plus minus stat. I think Dennis has been a very solid surprise for the Bruins on their blue line this season.
If someone would have told me that Thomas would lead this league in save percentage, I would have laughed at them. But guess what, there it is. He does, with a 931 save percentage. Tim has done nothing but hold the Bruins in every game. He is also in the top ten in goal against, with 2.26 goals against average. I like his ability to get back into position, after makes the first saves. He is getting better at controlling his rebounds. Tim has been consistent all season. You usually know what you are going to get from him this season.
The Bruins should be in playoff contention all season, which means I could see them being buyers at the deadline, picking up a solid stay home dman and 2nd line center to help Savard take off some pressure off of him. There should be plenty of players on the market to fit the bill come the dead line. I would be surprised if I do not see this team in the spring.