Boston Bruins: Finally First In The Atlantic

 

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Riley Nash #20 of the Boston Bruins reacts after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at TD Garden on November 29, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Nov. 28, 2017 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)

By: Andrew Thompson                                                                Twitter: @godwentwhoops

 

The Boston Bruins have had a very unusual season.

The Black and Gold started out in a rough patch due to the loss of so many senior players. As the season progressed, the 2017-18 B’s had to overcome a serious boatload of injuries. The team roster often found itself inundated with AHL players in order to overcome their shortcomings on their current roster.

As the Bruins progressed, the team’s behavior certainly didn’t help.  The occasional suspension of key players (B’s forward Brad Marchand (who earned it) and David Backes (who only earned it because the Department of Player Safety lives in some damnable bizarre universe where only their interpretations of the rules make sense. (By the way, if Parros isn’t being set up by Bettman et al to take the fall when the NHLPA’s concussion case finally comes to court…well, that will certainly be a pleasant surprise.))) certainly didn’t help matters.

By actions that happened outside of their control, the 2017-18 Bruins were put in a very ugly situation.  It left them adrift in a no-mans-land.  This meant the local media (who act like ravenous piranhas on a good day) chose to have their way with a team that was trying to find its identity. It didn’t matter that several key players were hurt. It didn’t matter that the team was full of young talent. The local media smelled blood in the water, and like sharks in a feeding frenzy, they engaged without thought of the potential consequence of their actions.

This meant the Boston media wrote the team off way too early. Many of the pundits claimed that the Bruins organization had made too many unrecoverable mistakes. The team was too young. The team lacked a central core. The Bruins could not get behind a coach who was spending his first full season as an NHL bench boss.

Boy were the pundits (this means you Felger) wrong. Not just wrong, but humbly being served an order of crow tartar while apologizing for their errors in judgment wrong. That is the problem with mainstream Boston media these days. Once they think you’re done, they’ll press the point come hell-or-high-water and damn the facts if they disagree with the narrative.

The 2017-18 Bruins squad have done something that very few teams in NHL history have done. They have fought and scratched their way from a non-playoff position to the top of their division. As of March 30th, the Boston Bruins via a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning hold sole possession of the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

How did the B’s get to where they are now? By not listening to the media. By committing themselves to every practice they undertook. By recognizing that every shift had significance and those shifts were a building block for the shifts that followed them.

“I guess when you look at the importance of the game, they’ve been in first place pretty much as long as I can remember this year. So that’s nice, to pass them,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy of the Bruins passing the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division.

The B’s 4-2 win proved to the league that they can take on the best in the Eastern Conference. When the Bruins head into the postseason, they’ll be in a prime position. While it might be a little too early to talk smack, the Bruins look like a team that could reach the Stanley Cup Finals this year.

 

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