By: Brandon Flowers | Follow me on Twitter @BKFlowers1
As the month of February rolls around, we are about 10-15 games into the 2020-2021 season. Some teams have played more often due to different circumstances, such as more condensed schedules and Covid-19 protocol. The Bruins are one of the teams that have had a few games postponed already due to Covid-19 protocol. Some teams are playing well to start the season, and some have been inconsistent and shaky. After a slow start to the season, it looks like the Bruins have found their groove, but can they keep it going all season?
The Bruins started the 2020-2021 season off slow, with two back-to-back losses against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. Since then, the Bruins have played a lot better and have been able to find the back of the net. The Bruins were without David Pastrnak for their first seven games of the season, and they were able to handle their own with their top star missing time. In the past five games that Pastrnak has been back, he has five goals, three assists for a total of eight points on the season, including a hat-trick against the Flyers on February 3rd.
Two players were carrying much of the load when Pastrnak was still on the shelf, that being Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. They both have been off to very hot starts this season, with Marchand and Bergeron both posting a total of 16 points in 12 games played. The top line for the Bruins should continue producing at a high level throughout the season on the way to the playoffs.
There have been a few surprises in the forward group this season, with Nick Ritchie and other guys stepping up in a larger role. Ritchie has a total of nine points in 12 games played, and he is getting time on the first power-play unit for this team. Another surprise has been the play of Trent Frederic. He won’t blow you away on the stat sheet, but his presence on the ice is felt with his size and skill. Newly acquired Craig Smith has also been an excellent addition to the forward group to help with the 5-on-5 scoring.
The defense group for the Bruins has changed since last season with a few losses and some new additions. The young guys like Lauzon and Zboril have really stepped up nicely into their new roles. Charlie McAvoy has been the leader on the backend and has played really well to start this season. The Bruins also have one of the top goalie duos in the league, with Rask and Halak playing at Vezina Trophy levels. Rask might be off to the best start of his career this season. He looks composed and ready to carry the Bruins this year.
The Bruins have been off to an excellent start and look to keep the momentum going with a quarter of the season in the books. Some said the Bruins would miss the playoffs this season, but they looked poised for another Stanley Cup run.