The calendar page has turned to the month of December. 'Tis the season for shopping, gift wrapping and madness at the malls. The holiday season is the best time of year for so many reasons. It’s also the time of year when the best teams in the NHL break away from the rest of the field.
The post-Thanksgiving schedule for hockey teams is extremely important and offers a true assessment of how teams are going to measure up for the remainder of the season. The Bruins have demonstrated that they are finished with their early-season slump and ready for the long haul.
If all goes according to plan, their October woes are far behind them, and what you saw from the B’s in the month of November is more consistent with the Bruins' expectations. The B’s have gone 6-1-3 in their last 10 games, with the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning coming to town Wednesday night. The next few opponents (Tampa Bay, Montreal, and Toronto) should yield wins for the Black and Gold and provide them with an opportunity to continue their surge to the top of the standings.
Boston's strong run in the second half of November saw them climb from ninth to sixth in the Eastern Conference and to within one point of Northeast Division-leading Buffalo. It’s been an impressive rise back to the top of the standings for the Bruins and hopefully this is where they'll stay.
It sure helps that Marc Savard is locked up on a long-term deal and happy to be in Boston. It also helps that the Bruins have gotten their top-line center back in the lineup as he's also their quarterback on the power play, their savvy playmaker and their stats leader. The pieces are now back in place for the Bruins to continue their success.
So as the holiday madness kicks into high gear with holiday parties and cheer, so too do the Bruins. And if the past two weeks are any indication of what this team is capable of, then get ready for a wild ride. The Bruins are heading in the right direction after a rocky start, and it’s time to get back on board with the B’s.