Statistically speaking, the Boston Bruins are not the best team in the NHL. Despite being the team that has scored the third highest amount of goals (64), has the second least amount of goals allowed (39) and has the highest goal differential of any team in the league (+25), the Bruins aren’t even in the top ten.
Blame it on their 3-7 start; a product of a lazy hockey when the team got a bit too comfortable after their summer with the Cup, showing little signs of passion and not playing effectively for the full 60 minutes. Eight straight wins later, good enough for an undefeated November, and the Bruins have turned things around in a big, bad way.
By all accounts, Tuukka Rask is a solid goaltender. – – The Finnish netminder is in his third year as an active member of the Boston Bruins roster and has a career goals-against-average of 2.26 in 81 games-played. In his 2009-10 rookie season, Rask put up strong numbers, posting a 22-12-5 record with five shutouts and a 1.97 G.A.A.. Rask could have very well been a starting goaltender for a team not equipped with a two-time Vezina trophy winner like Tim Thomas at the helm. However since his rookie season, his numbers have slipped.
Last season, Rask finished with a 2.67 G.A.A. and an 11-14-2 record with two shutouts. In the two games he’s started this season, Rask is winless with two losses and a 2.52 G.A.A..
But, this isn’t the problem.
By Mike Miccoli, Boston Bruins correspondent
As I type this, the Boston Bruins are about to take a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers.
For the next two days leading up to game 4 in Boston, I’ll ignore pretty much all sports radio, television programs and fair-weathered friends who’ll no doubt text me something that includes the words “just like last season” based on the reasoning that really, this is not last season.
The Bruins have now officially beaten the Flyers 5-1 in game 3, displaying what could almost be determined as a damn near-perfect game, all topped off with a power-play goal, their first in 30 attempts this postseason. Thomas was brilliant, yet again, as all four lines played effectively, developing chances in the offensive zone and dominating the puck through center ice. Boston was remarkable on the face-off dot winning 43 of 55 draws and landing 24 hits in what seemed like one of their most physical games of the postseason.
This is not last season.