It has not been the prettiest of starts for the Bruins in 2014-15 as they look to rebound from their early playoff exit last spring. With a fair share of injuries in the first two weeks, the B’s have struggled through their first nine games, but have shown signs of improvement after putting up a dismal four goals in their first four. Some of their most reliable offensive weapons have gotten off to slow starts and a lot of guys have had to learn to play with new linemates. Here is a deeper look at how Boston has fared statistically through the first two weeks of the season with some interesting nuggets on player, team and opponent stats.
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Coming into the postseason, the Bruins were expected to make another deep run and possibly contend for their third Stanley Cup in four seasons. Unfortunately for them, however, they ran into the red-hot Canadiens and saw their offense go cold at the worst possible time. Despite a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 at the Garden, there were still a lot of memorable moments in the series and, like always, plenty of interesting stats and facts to go around (and, yes, there are a lot). This series featured a record number of Game 7 meetings for the B’s and Habs, one Boston rookie doing something only one other player had done in the last 75 years, a new NHL record concerning consecutive seasons with a Game 7 appearance and Montreal’s netminder joining a goaltending legend as the only two to accomplish one particular feat. This, for the final time in 2013-14, is Boston Bruins: Eastern Conference Semifinals By The Numbers.
0: The Canadiens had zero players with a positive rating through Game 2.
0: The Merlot line had zero shots on goal in Game 4. And Game 6. And Game 7. Brutal.
0: Boston’s first line scored zero five-on-five goals in the series.
1: P.K. Subban’s game-winner in Game 1 was the first overtime goal of his postseason career.
1: Matt Fraser made his playoff debut in Game 4 after being called up from Providence earlier in the day. He scored his first postseason goal in the game and it was a pretty big one. In doing so, he became the first player in history to score an overtime goal in both the AHL and NHL playoffs in the same season, according to Elias Sports.
In the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, we saw just how good the Bruins could be. After a slight setback in Game 1, they dominated the Red Wings like the top-seed they are and reeled off four straight convincing wins. The first round saw a number of playoff firsts for some of the team’s young contributors, a postseason assist from the team’s recently named Vezina finalist, more than half of the team’s forwards scoring goals, the power-play unit being on fire, Boston’s successful coach hitting a playoff milestone and the first time a 500-goal scorer had ever accomplished something in the postseason. This is Boston Bruins: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals By The Numbers.
1: The Bruins lost Game 1 to the Red Wings, 1-0, marking the first time this season they lost a game in which they gave up only one goal. Their last 1-0 loss (regular or postseason) was on Feb. 28, 2012 against the Senators.
1: Kevan Miller made his postseason debut in the 4-1 Bruins win in Game 2.
1: Dougie Hamilton scored the first goal of his playoff career in Game 3 to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead exactly 9:00 in after he had beaten Jimmy Howard, but hit the post just a few minutes earlier. Jordan Caron followed that up with his first career postseason goal about seven minutes later to give the B’s a 2-0 lead.
1: Miller picked up his first career playoff point with an assist on the Caron goal and Carl Soderberg picked up his first playoff point with an assist in Game 4.
1.16: Rask is second among all goalies after Tuesday’s games with a 1.16 goals-against average in the first round of the playoffs.
1.20: Boston leads the league with just 1.20 goals against per game in the first round, well ahead of second-place Chicago, which allowed 2.33 goals per game.
2: Smith and Justin Florek each scored their first career playoff goals in their second career playoff games in Game 2.
2: Torey Krug picked up his second career multi-point playoff game in Game 2 with two assists in the win. It was his first career 2-assist playoff game as he had a goal and a helper in Game 2 against the Rangers in the second round of last season’s playoffs.
2: The last two players to score the Bruins’ first playoff goal are Florek and Wade Redden.
2: The Red Wings, in Game 1, became just the second team to shut the Bruins out this season. The only other team to shut the B’s out this year was the Avalanche on Oct. 10.
2: The Red Wings had just two shots on goal on the power play in Games 1 and 2 combined (0-for-6).
2: Rask’s shutout in Game 3 was the second all-time playoff shutout by a Bruins’ goaltender against Detroit. The first was registered by Don Simmons in the last time these two teams met in the playoffs (1957).
2: Boston fill-ins, Florek and Caron, combined to score as many goals (2) as the Red Wings did in Games 1-3.
2: Rask’s assist on Eriksson’s power-play goal in Game 5 was the second postseason assist of his career. The first came on April 21, 2010 in Game 4 of the first round of the series against the Sabres on the game-winning goal scored by Miroslav Satan.
2: Last postseason, the Bruins’ third line scored two goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs. In five games this postseason, Eriksson, Florek and Soderberg have already matched that total.
2: Daniel Alfredsson had just two shots on goal in the series and neither of them came until Game 5.
The Bruins’ historic regular season has come to a close and as the weather warms up in New England, they have their sights set on another deep playoff run. The B’s have seen their share of positives over the final couple weeks of the regular season, including the 100th career victory for their Vezina-worthy netminder and a career-best points streak for one of their leaders. The team also handed out their individual end-of-season awards, set a franchise record for consecutive road victories and became the first team in the league to clinch their division. This is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.
1: The B’s became the first team in the league to clinch their division title as they locked up the Atlantic with the 4-2 win over the Capitals on March 29.
1: Iginla was also named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for March.
1: The Bruins topped the Flyers, 5-2, on April 5 to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
It has been a very exciting last couple of weeks in the hub of hockey as the Bruins went on a tear following the Olympic Break and became the league’s first team to clinch a playoff spot. While their winning streak finally ended at the hands of Montreal, their point streak is still alive. Also happening were a milestone game for a hockey legend, a milestone assist for a Merlot member, another NHL debut for one rookie, the first ever home win against one opponent and the third-longest winning streak in team history. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
1: Last Tuesday’s win over the Wild was the first time the Bruins have beaten Minnesota at TD Garden (1-6-0).
1: Corey Potter played his first game with the Bruins on March 18 in New Jersey.
1: With their win over the Avalanche on March 21, the Bruins became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff berth.