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.
The month of March has been much kinder to the Bruins than February. The Bruins are on a tear, ripping of an 8-1-1 record in their last 10. They went from being on the edge of playoff oblivion to the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference.
Every player has stepped it up especially Milan Lucic, since David Krejci went down and Ryan Spooner stepped in, Looch has a new jump in his step and is feeling the mojo. He is so relaxed that he finds time to rock out to Taylor Swift during his game versus Pittsburgh.
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.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Bruins and despite only playing five games, there has been a lot going on both on the ice with some quality opponents and off the ice with the trade deadline approaching on Monday. The team returned to Boston after a long, and somewhat miserable, 5-game Western Conference road trip this past Tuesday, but continues to struggle to hang on to the final playoff spot in the East. Just to name a few, the Bruins endured their longest shootout ever and helped to nearly set an NHL shootout record, had two players debut in the same game, scored their most goals in a game this year, saw their coach reach a milestone and one of their leaders reach a couple of his own. We have a lot to get to, so this is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
While the Bruins have faltered pretty mightily in the last couple weeks, Tuukka Rask certainly has not been to blame.
0: Edmonton defenseman Martin Marincin scored the only goal in the 12-round shootout between in Bruins and the Oilers on Feb. 18. He has no goals and just one point in 21 games played this season.
1: St. Louis’ Petteri Lindbohm scored his first career goal against the Bruins in their win on Friday night. It also happened to be the first career goal allowed by Malcolm Subban and, according to Elias, Lindbohm became the first player in Blues’ history to score his first career goal on a goalie who gave up his first career NHL goal. The last time that happened in any NHL game was in 2007.
After the Bruins rolled out that pile of crap they called an effort versus Vancouver, a fan of the Black & Gold had enough. And I don’t blame him/her one bit for kind of celebrating Vancouver’s hat trick out of pure disgust. Mental mistakes by the barrels, giving ZERO f*cks and just going through the motions….this is now called Bruins hockey.