(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
A 7-0 loss on Opening Night isn’t ideal. A game in which no positives come out of it isn’t ideal. Despite a 7-0 beatdown, it was Opening Night and sometimes we as Bruins fans know that the start of some seasons doesn’t always go according to plan. The reason I’ve mentioned Opening Night is that this Bruins team is a much different team than the one that looked lost for nearly the entire 60 minutes on that Wednesday night in D.C. It’s a long season in the NHL, 82 games full of ups and downs and sometimes bad losses happen but it’s all about how you respond to them.
Since that loss to the Capitals, the Bruins are 6-2-2 and have overcome some pretty big obstacles in the early part of the season. Injuries to the blue line have arguably been the biggest issue to plague the team so far, but guys like Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, and even Steven Kampfer have stepped up. Zdeno Chara has been incredibly effective to start the season and has three goals already. Losing Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug and now Kevan Miller has put this team to the test, but they’ve responded with flying colors to close out this first month of the season.
One of the best parts of the open to the 2018-19 season is the performance of the top line, specifically Patrice Bergeron. Number 37 has put together an impressive start to the season with 16 points in his first 11 games, leading the Bruins in points. With the injuries he’s dealt with in recent seasons, it’s extremely satisfying to see him performing the way we are all used to him performing and being in such great health as well. His big start has been important especially with some of the offensive struggles of guys lower in the lineup.
One of the players that hasn’t struggled to start the season is David Krejci, who contrary to popular belief has performed pretty well in the early part of the season. Nine points in 11 games aren’t spectacular but Krejci has played pretty consistently and has matched very well with Jake DeBrusk as we figured out last season. If Krejci can come close to maintaining this kind of scoring pace, it would be a tremendous help to the Bruins and some of the scoring issues they’ve had to open the season. Finding another winger to match with Krejci is important as it could create another line to score goals to help create some scoring depth. Danton Heinen has been playing with Krejci and DeBrusk and hasn’t been a bad fit as he’s improved from his poor start to the season.
— Vinny Cannamela (@vinnycannamela8) October 26, 2018
Ah yes, we’ve now come to the most controversial position on this Bruins team, the goaltender. Tuukka Rask hasn’t started the way the Bruins wanted him to as he’s just 3-3 with a save percentage just over 90 percent and goals against average of over three goals per game. Rask hasn’t looked himself in the early part of the season as the worst parts of his game have reared their ugly head. This isn’t a new development for Rask as he started the year poorly last season. The same way Anton Khudobin stepped up in the early part of last season, Jaroslav Halak has been just as good if not better and deserves all the credit for his early season performance. Hopefully, the performance of the backup goalie can light a fire under Rask much like it did last season and get him to perform the way we all expect.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 26, 2018
Despite the issues the Bruins have faced in the early part of the season, they are right in the thick of the race in the Atlantic Division and just two points behind the division leader Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, this fan base has gotten to the point of freaking out after every loss, but contrary to popular belief, the Bruins will be just fine. If this team gets healthy and gets better goaltending, they’ll be in store for another special season.