A lot has been going right for the Boston Bruins of late as they sit at 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Currently, they hold a comfortable four-point lead over the next team behind them, the Montreal Canadiens, while still having played the least amount of games in the division.
But in the midst of all the success, one thing is beginning to stand out above all else: the Bruins are beating down the Eastern Conference.
With a 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, the Bruins now have won six-straight games against conference foes. That comes after starting the season 0-3-3 against the East.
Now, it’s been over a month since the B’s last lost to an Eastern Conference team, when they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 11.
And while the turnaround is emblematic of Boston’s season as a whole to this point, it should stand out as an encouraging benchmark going forward.
Of those six teams that have fallen to the Bruins during their run — which began Nov. 22 against the New Jersey Devils — four of them currently sit in the top eight in the conference.
Yes, Dec. 13 is far too early to start labeling the Bruins a team to beat in the conference. However, the way they are battling against teams they could see in meaningful games come April has to be a comforting sign for head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Sure, as the weather gets colder, so will the Bruins — like any team in the league. And with the amount of youth Boston is leaning on, the proverbial growing pains will present themselves at some point. So they’ll have to learn how to contend with that and still grind out wins.
This run has also encompassed the changing of the guards in net. The first two wins featured Anton Khudobin, while the most recent four have seen Tuukka Rask handle the goaltending. Cassidy has long harped on his desire to have both goalies playing well, and to see both of the netminders help contribute in a big way is another positive thing Boston can hang its hat on.
But to keep the streak alive, the Bruins won’t have to wait long, as Boston has a big test in the Washington Capitals looming Thursday at TD Garden. Not only does it feature a 19-12-1 Capitals team that is second in the Metropolitan Division, but it also will be the second game of a back-to-back for the B’s.
It’s only fitting for the Bruins to have to grind out a win in less than ideal timing against one of the conference’s best in order to stretch the streak to seven.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports Images.
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