The Boston Bruins dominated for the first month of the 2019-20 season, posting an 11-1-2 record through their first 14 games and looking every bit like the team that fell one win short of hoisting the Stanley Cup in June.
Most teams go through rough patches, though, and the Bruins have stumbled over the past week, suffering back-to-back regulation losses followed by two straight shootout defeats, including one in which Boston led by four goals entering the third period.
As such, the B’s were bumped from the top spot in ESPN’s NHL power rankings published Thursday. Boston now sits at No. 3, trailing the top-ranked Washington Capitals and the second-ranked St. Louis Blues, the latter of whom, of course, defeated the Bruins in last season’s Stanley Cup Final.
Here’s what ESPN’s Emily Kaplan wrote about the Bruins’ recent skid:
Things were looking terrific for the Bruins, until this current four-game slide, including a massive blown lead against the Panthers this week. Finding secondary scoring remains a focus. And now, do we have to worry about Boston closing out games, typically a Bruce Cassidy hallmark?
The Bruins held down the No. 1 spot in last week’s rankings, which take into account overall record, recent success and other factors such as injuries. And it wouldn’t be surprising if Boston regained its footing and ascended back to the top of the mountain in short order.
That said, the Bruins need to improve in several areas after losses to the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers. Their first opportunity to turn things around comes Friday night when the Black and Gold travels north of the border for a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs.