Dec. 14, 2017.
That’s the last time the Boston Bruins have lost a game in regulation.
Since that 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Washington Capitals, the Bruins have been on an absolute tear, posting a 9-0-4 record over their next 13 games.
Boston was able to extend its point streak Monday afternoon against the Dallas Stars. Though the B’s weren’t able to earn the win, thanks in large part to old friend Tyler Seguin’s overtime winner, they still managed to scrap out a point against a tough Western Conference opponent.
While the Bruins’ current point streak certainly is impressive, Monday’s outcome against the Stars makes it difficult to ignore the “what if” in terms of Boston’s overtime success (or lack thereof) this season. Out of the 11 contests the B’s have taken to overtime or a shootout, they’ve only managed to pick up two points in three of them.
Now, this could just be nit-picking. The Bruins remain one of the hottest teams in the NHL, and their play of late suggests they’re capable of a deep postseason run. But if Boston came out on top in the eight overtime/shootout games it dropped, it would be just one point behind the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Additionally, the B’s would own the second-highest point total in the entire league.
However, it’s obviously impossible to expect Boston to always come out on top in sudden death. The new three-on-three format turns overtime into pure chaos, and shootouts, of course, are a total crapshoot. But with that said, the Bruins can do their part to try to eliminate free hockey after 60 minutes of regulation.
One of the unfortunate trends plaguing Boston thus far in the season is slow starts. While the issue has been subdued during the team’s recent point streak, it’s prominence early in the season led one to believe that the playoffs would be a pipe dream for the Bruins. The B’s have proved they can fight back, but they’d be the first to tell you that playing from behind is no easy task.
If Boston can consistently perform in the first period the way its been performing in the third this season, the Black and Gold can become a major threat in the Eastern Conference and in the NHL, in general.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Stars:
— Boston particularly struggled on the man advantage, going 0-for-4 on power plays.
— The Bruins snapped a five-game win streak at TD Garden.
— Zdeno Chara got the Bruins on the board in the second period with his fourth goal of the season. Ryan Spooner knotted the game at 2-2 in the third period.
— Two of Boston’s next three games will be against the rival Montreal Canadiens.