Strong Start for Bruins
by Charlie Blasberg on Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Last year, the Boston Bruin’s season came to a disappointing end with a game 7 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs. This year, the Bs came out of the lockout re-energized and prepared to get back to so-called ‘Bruins Hockey’ and, so far, have yet to disappoint, posting the team’s best start to a season ever. They are without a doubt one of the toughest teams in the league and are always willing to drop gloves and work for scrappy goals. These qualities, along with superb goaltending from Tuukka Rask, has led to a 9-2-2 record up to this point, good for tops in the Northeast Division. One point of emphasis for the Bruins this season is resilience. Last year, they were 32-0-0 when leading after two periods, but when the going got tough, they seemed to back off. This lack of mental toughness proved fatal in the postseason, as they lost four close games and were unable to come up with important goals late in games, which they seem to have addressed. On February 12th, down 3-0 with 12 minutes left in the game, largely being outplayed and outmatched by a tough New York Rangers squad with Tuukka not having his best day, they dug deep, got to the front of the net a few times, and eventually tied it up with 43 seconds left on Brad Marchand’s wicked wrist shot into the top corner of the net. Although the Bruins lost in a shootout, they grabbed an important point in this shortened season, and proved to their naysayers that they could get it done in crunch time. After dropping their second game in regulation this year to the Buffalo Sabres, the Bruins went at it again on the road Sunday against a desperate Winnipeg team. After a late Winnipeg goal in the second period put them behind 2-1, they seemed headed for a third consecutive loss, but only seconds later, Daniel Paille deflected a Johnny Boychuk slapshot into the net with 1.5 seconds left in the period, giving the Bruins all the momentum they needed. Brad Marchand’s slick backhand early in the third gave the Bruins their 9th win of the year.
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