Even one of the greatest NHL players of all time is thoroughly impressed by what the Bruins have done thus far this season.
Boston entered the All-Star break with a league-best 83 points, seven more than the next-highest team (Carolina Hurricanes) on the totem pole. The Bruins managed to separate themselves in a very talented and competitive Eastern Conference, where six teams currently have between 60 and 76 points on the campaign.
Right outside that group is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who totaled 57 points before the NHL put a pause on game action for its All-Star festivities. Sidney Crosby on Friday sounded confident in the Penguins’ chances of hanging with the best in the East, but he acknowledged the Bruins will be the toughest of outs.
“It’s hard to say at what points we were in this position in other years — but I think the league as a whole, everyone is super tight. Boston is kind of a different breed right now,” Crosby told reporters, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “But I think everyone else on a nightly basis, you understand teams are tightly matched and you’re going to be in a fight for the rest of the year regardless of where you’re at in the standings.”
The star-studded showdown in Southern Florida came at a good time for the Bruins, who lost three of four going into the break. And it’s an extra-long hiatus for the Black and Gold, who will be on bye until Feb. 11.
With nine days of some much-needed rest under its belt, Boston figures to look like the Presidents’ Trophy frontrunner when it resumes its regular-season schedule.