The Bruins, after a 3-2 win over the hated Canadiens, claimed sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference, and the Patriots, after a dreadful showing by Pittsburgh on Monday night, likewise owned the top spot in the AFC with an 11-3 record.
With both teams atop their respective conferences, which one has the best chance to win a championship this season?
The Patriots obviously have first crack, with the playoffs starting in just a few short weeks. However, concerns about their 32nd-ranked defense have many worrying that Tom Brady's offense may not be enough to win in January.
The Bruins, obviously, will have to wait a while, but this year's team looks like it may be even better than last year's, which of course hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup in June. Still, there has not been a repeat champion in the NHL for more than a decade, because it's such a long, hard journey through the grinding NHL playoffs.