The Boston Bruins are cruising through the Eastern Conference this posteason, and it seems almost guaranteed that they will return to the Stanley Cup Finals. Let’s take a look at the numbers to see just what it is that’s making the Bruins so difficult to stop.
Offense: The Boston Bruins have found life in the offensive zone this postseason. At the time of year when goals are hardest to come by, when opposing teams are at the top of their game, when finding open space is nearly as rare as a Marc-Andre Fleury making a save, the Bruins have discovered another level altogether on offense. Of all 16 teams to enter the playoffs, the Bruins came in 9th in scoring during the regular season, with a 2.65 Goals Per Game average. Since the start of the postseason however, this same Bruins team is now second in GPG with a 3.27 average. (The Pittsburgh Penguins rank 1st with 3.50 gpg)
This surge in scoring – during what are typically lower scoring matchups – is due in no small part to Bruins forward David Krejci, the current postseason leader in scoring. In only 15 playoff games, Krejci has totaled 21 points; 9 goals + 12 assists. But playoff success is nothing new to the 27 year old: since the 2011 playoffs, Krejci has 46 points in 46 playoff games.
Defense: The Bruins play a big, physical game, which wears on opponents over the course of a 7 game series. But it isn’t just their size that makes the Bruin’s defense so imposing, its their attention to details such as getting sticks in their opponents’ passing lanes, as well as blocking shots. Bruin’s defenseman Johnny Boychuck leads the NHL in blocked shots this postseason, and its not even a close race. Boychuck’s 51 blocked shots stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field, with the next closest total being 36, set by Paul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has also pitched in with 31 blocked shots of his own.
Goaltending: Bruin’s goalie Tuukka Rask is doing his best to help Boston fans forget about Tim Thomas, the veteran goalie who led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2011. Rask seemed a bit shaky in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but managed to hang on despite a game 7 scare that could have ended the Bruin’s season much too early. Since that game however, Rask has gone 7-1 while allowing only 11 goals. (1.37 GAA) Rask has also posted an extremely impressive .940 save percentage, second only to Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. (.941 sv %)
The Boston Bruins have found ways to step up their game across the board this postseason, and are 1 game away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals. Should the Bruins win the cup, it would be their second in only 3 seasons. Could we be witnessing the start of a true NHL dynasty?
- Bergeron scores in double OT, Bruins Take 3-0 Series Advantage (bostonsportsradio.wordpress.com)
- Bergeron scores in 2nd OT to give Bruins 2-1 win (sacbee.com)
- Bergeron scores in 2nd OT to give Bruins 2-1 win (cnsnews.com)