There isn’t much to say about the 2013 Boston Bruins that hasn’t already been said—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Prior to Tuesday night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers, the team was off to its best ten-game start in franchise history (8-1-1) behind a torrid goaltender tandem, contributions from all four lines and shrewd coaching from Claude Julien. For right now, the players are clicking and the Bruins are quickly becoming powerhouses of the Eastern Conference. So why does it feel like something is missing?
Because there is.
BOSTON– The story coming out of Game 1 between the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins should have been about the performance of rookie goaltender Braden Holtby.
Chris Kelly had other plans.
Just 1:18 into overtime, Kelly scored the Bruins’ first and only goal of the game to seal the victory and take the 1-0 series lead for Boston.
It might be safe to say that out of the six Eastern Conference teams still in the hunt for the playoffs, the Boston Bruins have the most difficult schedule of remaining regular season games. The Bruins will first host the 9th seed Washington Capitals, just two points out of playoff contention before heading to New York for back-to-back games against the all-but-eliminated Islanders and a Rangers team which they’re winless against this season. After that, the Bruins will come back home to play the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins, travel to Ottawa to face the team closest to catching them for the Northeast Division lead and close out the season back in Boston against the Buffalo Sabres who are 7-1-2 in their last ten games.
A bit daunting when you think about how inconsistent the Bruins have been at times during the season, eh?
The good news is that the Bruins could potentially clinch a playoff spot in their next game with a win or overtime loss against Washington on Thursday. The bad news is that the division, along with their potential first round opponent, is far from being decided. Pair that with some tough decisions that Boston coach Claude Julien will face regarding starting goaltending and resting key players and you have to think: this will not be an easy two weeks for the Boston Bruins.
The Boston Bruins always had a problem on their hands. A good problem, but nonetheless, a problem.
Together, Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask make up one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL today. Because of this, the Bruins should be thankful. Coach Claude Julien has said numerous times that the Bruins do not have a #1 goalie, but rather a 1a and 1b.