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BOSTON (CBS) – Twenty two games down and what do we know about the Boston Bruins?
We know that despite the panic that sets into the fandom when a two game losing streak hits, all it takes are a couple of solid wins to get everything back to normal in Boston Hockey land.
The Bruins have settled the bridge jumpers as of late by not allowing the third period breakdowns that have lead to all three of their regulation losses. Add to that some solid goaltending from both Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask along with the number two line being upgraded to the number one line — with Patrice Bergeron centering Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand — and producing a mountain of points (38) in their last ten games, and all is right once again.
Even Seguin is picking things up after a season-beginning slump, scoring six goals and 13 points in his last 11 games.
As head coach Claude Julien says, putting together a full 60 minute effort consistently is what is most important for his hockey club. In Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins did exactly that in all phases of the game. Rask was stout in goal on the limited number of chances Boston’s defense allowed, Seguin continued his torrid pace with another power play goal, and even better was the contributions from the third and fourth lines. Chris Kelley and Daniel Paille each potted a goal in that win, and the Bruins are 26-0-0 since the start of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs when Kelly finds the back of the net.
Kelly admits he needs to score more in order for the Bruins to continue their winning ways, and without those contributions from lines three and four, the opposition will put their best checkers out against the B’s top lines. If the likes of Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin can’t fight through those checks, the Bruins are in trouble.
But, so far, the team has been able to avoid a losing streak of any significance. Julien remains steady in his coaching philosophy of rolling out four lines, and more importantly, preaching the play in their own end is as important as any other place on the ice. As frustrating as that can be for fans and media alike — and it takes a lot not to question him at times — I respect Claude for not allowing outside sources to influence his decisions of how his brand of hockey should be played. After all, we do have June 15, 2011.
Bostonians have become somewhat spoiled in how they view their team’s success, so even a two-game hiccup is known to cause some mass hysteria. The Bruins will be just fine as long as everyone does what is asked of them and they continue to get contributions from all four lines that Julien roles out.
Nearly halfway through this shortened season, there is no reason for panic with the Boston Bruins.