One thing is clear: if the Bruins are going to make the playoffs this season, they are going to have to be nearly perfect in their eight remaining games. In the last two weeks, they have fallen out of the playoff picture, missed a chance to sweep the season series from one division rival for the first time ever, surrendered a half dozen goals to another division foe for the first time in almost a decade, got their first shutout in one Eastern city in nearly four decades and still have not scored a goal this year against one team they are chasing. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins have been bumped out of the playoffs, but Tuukka Rask has been far from the problem.
0: The Bruins shut out the Penguins, 2-0, on March 14 and then were shut out by the same score at the hands of the Capitals in their next game the following night. It marked the first time the B’s were involved in shutouts in consecutive games since Nov. 19 and 21, 2011 with 6-0 and 1-0 wins over the Islanders and Canadiens. It was also the first time they won a game via a shutout and then lost their next via a shutout since March 24 and 26, 2010 against the Canadiens and Rangers.
1.35: Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond came into last Thursday’s win over the B’s with a 1.35 goals-against average in 12 starts before surrendering four to Boston.
After a less than stellar February, the Bruins seem to have found their stride again during the first half of March as they have put some separation between themselves and those chasing for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The team has gone 6-0-1 in its last seven games and seen their first shootout goal of the calendar year, one winger accomplishing something not done in 31 years, a rare two-goal game for a member of the fourth line, the special teams doing something they have not done since 2009 and the team opening the scoring in as consistent of a way they have not done since 1990. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Brad Marchand has been doing his part to help jumpstart the Bruins in the month of March.
0: Carl Soderberg failed to win a face off against the Flyers on Saturday for the first time since Nov. 21.
1: Ryan Spooner scored the first goal of his career on Feb. 27 to give the Bruins their 30th win, 3-2, over the Devils in overtime. It came in his 35th career NHL game.
1: Six nights later, he took the first shootout attempt of his career in the loss to the Flames (0-1).
1: Max Talbot earned his first point as a member of the Bruins with the primary assist on Brad Marchand’s game-winning overtime goal to beat the Flyers, 3-2, on Saturday.
1.20: David Pastrnak is tied for fifth in the league with 1.20 points per game against the Atlantic Division this season (just five games).
2: Daniel Paille recorded goals in consecutive games on Feb. 24 and 27 for the first time since Jan. 4 and 7, 2014.
Nobody said it was going to be easy. The Bruins knew this and every day they find themselves fighting to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have had a rough go of it over the last couple of weeks and things will only get more difficult on their current 5-game Western Conference road trip. During the last two weeks, the Bruins got a rare opportunity to face a different New York goaltender, the Habs accomplished a couple different things not done in quite some time by beating the B’s, Boston suffered its first home regulation loss against one Western Conference team in over a decade and they experienced a first-period outcome not seen since 2008. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Zdeno Chara gathers his thoughts during the Bruins’ most recent setback to the Canadiens.
1: Gregory Campbell had a plus-1 rating against the Islanders on Jan. 28 and again against the Kings on Jan. 30. It was the first time this season he has had a positive rating in consecutive games. In fact, he had gone 18 consecutive games without having a negative rating before a minus-1 showing Friday in Vancouver with his previous coming on Dec. 27.
1: Vancouver is the only NHL city the Bruins have not won a game in since they claimed the Stanley Cup in 2011, according to Dan Cagen.
2: Brad Marchand’s two goals against L.A. on Jan. 31 gave him his first multi-point game since Dec. 23.
2: Chris Kelly’s goal against the Kings on Jan. 31 was his second game winner of the year, but first since Opening Night.
With the All-Star Break encompassing seven of the last nine days, the Bruins have played just four games in the last two weeks while continuing to jockey for playoff positioning. Aside from Patrice Bergeron, the team’s lone representative in Columbus, the B’s enjoyed their eight days off and look to pick up where they left off to begin the unofficial second half of the season. The last two weeks have included a theme of very late Colorado goals, a milestone point for a Bruins’ centerman and the first NHL brawl for one young defenseman. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Patrice Bergeron had a very impressive All-Star Game debut for Team Toews.
0.3: Jarome Iginla scored a goal with 0.3 seconds left in the first period to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead on Jan. 21. It was the second straight period the Avs scored a goal with under a second remaining against the Bruins as Daniel Briere scored with 0.4 remaining in the game to win it for them on Oct. 13.
1: Craig Cunningham notched the first career assist (third point) as he recorded the primary helper on Gregory Campbell’s goal in Dallas on Jan. 20 in his 24th career game.
1: David Pastrnak recorded his first NHL penalty (a slash) on Jan. 21 in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche.
The Patriots are just about set to take on the NFC Champion Seahawks in their sixth Super Bowl appearance in the last 13 years. In their two most recent trips in 2007 and 2011, however, the Pats have not been able to come away victorious. In their most recent Super Bowl loss to the Giants, there were some pretty clear reasons as to why they were unable to win the game. We all remember the last-minute, game-winning touchdown drive orchestrated by Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw’s accidental touchdown and the last-second Hail Mary attempt falling incomplete. Chances are, however, most people have forgotten about some of the other reasons the Pats came out on the wrong end of the score, but not to worry. Here are the top-12 reasons the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI.
Tom Brady walks off the field in Indianapolis following the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.
The Bruins seem to have found their stride as the first half of the season has come and gone and as a team hanging around the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, their current five-game winning streak could not have come at a better time. Over the last couple of weeks, the B’s have extended some recent dominance over a couple different opponents, seen their prized rookie do something not many Bruins’ teenagers have, outshot an opponent by more than they have in almost five years, fired the fewest shots on goal they have had in a period this season, had a couple centermen hit a milestone on the same night and rattled off a season-high point streak. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
David Pastrnak has come on in a big way over the last few games and is in Boston to stay.
1: Former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin made his first start against Boston as his Hurricanes came away with the 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 4 in Raleigh.
1: David Pastrnak scored his first NHL goal – first two actually – in the 3-1 win over the Flyers on Jan. 10. He is the youngest NHL player to appear in a game this season.
1: In the same game, the Bruins won for the first time this season when Zdeno Chara committed a penalty (1-5-3). They then improved to 2-5-3 in their next game against Tampa Bay.
1: Patrice Bergeron was selected as the Bruins’ lone representative to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.