Bruins Contend for Stanley Cup
by Jeremy Gross on Friday, February 21st, 2014
Heading into the Olympic break, the Bruins had been on a bit of a hot streak, winning seven of their last nine games. Despite these good signs, Boston fans know all too well that a strong regular season does not necessarily lead to success in the postseason (Remember 2010?). What do these Bruins need to do to make back to back appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals? All the Bruins have to do is keep playing their game. Sounds simple right? But what does it mean for the 2014 Bruins to “play their game”?
The Bruins’ offense relies on moving the puck efficiently along the boards, drawing the opposing team’s defensemen towards the boards and opening up the middle of the ice. On offense, the Bruins also love to give the puck to their powerful blue-liners, especially Zdeno Chara, who holds the record for hardest slap shot ever at a blazing 108.8 mph.
The Bruins’ defense is all about hitting hard, pushing people out from in front of the net, and sacrificing physical injury for the benefit of the team. The Bruins pay more attention to working as a team than playing for individual recognition; they truly play by the words of Herb Brooks when he said, “The name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the name on the back.” When scouts talk about possible additions to the team, they don’t necessarily look for the best stick handler or the fastest skater. The ideal Bruin is scrappy: he is willing to fight for the puck in the corners, and he is not afraid to get or give a hit. He plays along the boards well, contributes as a team player, and skates with a tough tenacity.
In last year’s Stanley Cup against the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruin Patrice Bergeron played an impressive game considering that he played with a broken rib, torn cartilage, a separated shoulder, and a punctured lung. In almost all other sports, any one of those injuries would sideline a player for days if not weeks, but it takes quite a lot to stop a Bruin from supporting his team on the ice.
The Bruins’ physical style of play, while it may not be the easiest way to play, has certainly paid off for the team. Finishing in the top three in the league in each of the past six seasons and having won the 2011 Stanley Cup, the Bruins, when they play their game, are premiere contenders for the title.
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