Saturday night in the NHL featured a long awaited matchup between the two teams in the Stanley Cup Finals from this past June: the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. As most can remember, the Blues beat the Bruins in Game 7 last year to take the Stanley Cup. This loss left fans (especially me) extremely frustrated and heartbroken. A Game 7, at home, and you crap your pants and lose 4-1. Terrible showing by a team that SHOULD have won the Cup, give how they got there. Last night was the first time these two met since that game.
I fully expected the Bruins to be frustrated and be sloppy for most of the game. I thought they would let their emotions get the better of them, and St. Louis would get off to a quick start. That wasn’t the case however, as the Bruins got out to a 1-0 lead towards the end of the first. The Blues had their moments in this game to stage a comeback, but Tuukka Rask answered the call and stopped all 26 Blues’ shots. This was Rask’s second shutout of the season, the Bruins 3rd in 10 games. Their Goals Against Average per game went down to 1.90. The league average is 2.99. That’s an insane stat through 10 games. This teams defense has really come together at the beginning of this year, and the goaltending is picking up where it left off last year. The 1-2 punch of Tuukka Rask and Juroslav Halak has been lights out so far. The only way Rask can redeem himself in my eyes is to win the damn cup. Until then, he’s ok. (Yes, I’m a douche. No, I don’t care if he’s been playing good.)
David Pastrnak scored again on the powerplay, bringing the Bruins Powerplay Percentage up to 34.4%, a league best. The one thing the Bruins are going to have to work on are their five on five play. If they can improve on that, and keep their powerplay where it was from last year, they have a really good chance to make a deep run and potentially win the whole thing. I am very hopefully, however, let’s see how hard the injury bug hits them this year. If they stay relatively healthy, they should be a top 4 team in the NHL.
Last night’s game is a step in the right direction for the Bruins to forget last year. They are 7-1-2, and well on their way to another great season. Let’s hope that they can manage their injuries better this year, and play better five on five hockey. If they can manage those two things, then I think they will win the Cup this year. The Blues and Tampa Bay have looked disappointing, the Maple Leafs are, well, the Maple Leafs. Buffalo and Edmonton are just pretend players. The only real threats lie with Vegas, Colorado, and Washington. I have full confidence that if it came down to it, the Bruins would be able to beat the Penguins or the Hurricanes. So, there you have it. The NHL is screwed six ways to Sunday if the Bruins can keep it together this year. Let’s see how it goes fans.