A December to Remember

Sorry for the absence of the past 3 weeks or so, but in an effort to make up for the lack of posts, lets take a look back at one of the best months for the Bruins in recent memory…

Lets start with the good stuff.

1. The Bruins have quite a few guys on the NHL statistic leaderboards. Marc Savard is 4th in points with 48, just 4 behind Alexander Ovechkin for 2nd. David Krejci and Phil Kessel are also threatening to crack the top 5. Kessel is 4th in goals as well. The Bruins dominate the plus minus leader board, which is possibly the most important individual stat. Dennis Wideman, Savard, Wheeler, and Krejci hold down the top 4 spots, with Malkin being the only top 5 player to not wear the spoked B. Both Fernandez and Thomas hold spots in the top 5 for save percentage and Goals against Average.

2. Manny Fernandez.NHL

Fernandez has really emerged as the Bruins best goaltender, he hasn’t had a bad game since the first two weeks of the season. If Fernandez is playing to form  in the playoffs, the Bruins will not be beaten.

3. The youngsters. I hardly consider David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Phil Kessel the youngsters anymore. This month the Bruins required some Providence call ups because of injury. Vladimir Sobotka, Martin St.Pierre, Matt Hunwick, Matt Lashoff, and John Boychuk, all stepped in and recieved significant ice time.NHL/ Ference will have to do something special to knock Hunwick out of the lineup, and both Sobotka and St.Pierre have made very strong cases for themselves to be considered NHL-ready talents.

4. Number 1 in the Power Rankings. Despite the ESPN power rankings being run by a bunch of blithering idiots, they actually got something right putting the bruins ahead of the sharks, wings, and blackhawks. The worthwhile journalists over at TSN also had the Bruins holding down the top spot.

5. 62 points. The Boston Bruins are FIRST in the NHL in points. They are on pace for the highest point total in Bruins history.

6. Claude Julien. When a team is playing as the Bruins most coaches would go with an “if its not broke don’t fix it,” strategy, but coach Julien was smarter than that. When players or lines got complacent, Julien would make a move, most noticably demoting Lucic from the first line to the third line. So far Lucic has responded with a goal and a plethora of hits.

7. Aaron Ward. Although Matt Lashoff has a bright future, he needs more seasoning in the AHL.D052156001.JPG Thankfully, the Bruins only need to look to one young defender now that veteran Aaron Ward has returned to the lineup.

8. Blake Wheeler. The kid can score, and he can score pretty goals too. His work on protecting the puck with Cam Neely is really showing in his game, and his one timer is flat out deadly.

Now the bad, and there were very few things to hate about this month.

1. Patrice Bergeron goes down with another concussion. Clearly this is a major problem. It sounds as if Bergeron is doing well, and this will not be a repeat of the last concussion, but none the less, a worrisome problem for the Bruins.

2. Milan Lucic. Lucic definitely got away from his physical game, and thus was demoted to the third line to remind him of what makes him a good player.

3. Marc Savard. Despite putting up a ton of points he has shown signs of the old “offense only” Savard. Luckily, it did not cost the team, but Savard needs to make safer break out passes.

Overall, great month and great 2008 for the Bs

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