The Boston Bruins February is successfully behind them. It was almost a perfect month for the Bruins as they have not lost in regulation time. In a very poetical fashion, on the last day of the February, the Bruins faced the best team in the NHL. And succeeded. There is a hope moving forward for the Bruins as the finish line of the season nears.
Boston Bruins February Was Terrific
It was a rather disappointing end to January for the Bruins as they lost five of six closing games in the first month of the new year. However, the very first game in the new month was a huge relieve for them. They defeated the Washington Capitals for the first time in 14 head-to-head meetings. With a 1-0 resilient victory on the Super Bowl Sunday back then, Boston kickstarted a great run.
The Boston Bruins February finished with an 11-0-2 record. Their only losses came in the shootouts. The first one at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers, where the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead in the third period. The second one came just a few days ago in St. Louis against the Blues.
In 13 games in the past month, the B´s allowed just 24 goals in total. That´s the most important factor in the Bruins game as they are the second best defence in the League with 161 goals against. Only one team in the NHL is better in that area – the New York Islanders with just 150 goals conceded.
In the month of February, the Boston Bruins were the best team in the NHL with 92,3% of point percentage. They are the second best power-play team in the League and also have the second-best home record, just behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. But it hasn´t been just about the great play at home. Although the Bruins won all six games played at TD Garden, they were solid 5-0-2 on the road as well.
Good Bruins Vibes From California
The Boston Bruins had a very challenging road trip in California. After sweeping a three-game homestand, the Bruins found themselves without injured forward David Pastrnak. Pastrnak was meant to be greatly missed by the B´s, as he has 66 points in 56 games on the year. However, the Bruins are 7-0-2 without their star winger as they scored 30 goals in those nine games without Pastrnak.
California has not always been a blessed soil for Boston. Between 2014 and 2016, the Bruins have lost eight of nine games played against California team. However, under the Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins are 7-0-2 in their last nine meetings in California. This season, Boston has swept that road swing on the West Coast. Sweeping the California road trip has been something not witnessed in the Bruins franchise history. Well, the history marks are there to be overwritten and the Bruins achieved to do that.
In fact, the Boston Bruins have swept the season series with all of their opponents from California. That has also happened for the first time in the club´s history. Under Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins are 12-3-1 versus either the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks or the Los Angeles Kings. Over the current campaign, Boston is 12-2-2 versus the Pacific Division and 7-2-3 against the Central Division. That´s a good sign for the B´s as those teams are always heavy and physical. So far this season, the Bruins have been able to match that.
Secondary Scoring and the New Comers in Boston
Ahead of the Trade Deadline, there has been a big and deep need for the secondary scoring. In the closing games of January, it was only about the trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak getting their names written on the scoring sheets. In the month of February, that has been a different kind of story.
Jake DeBrusk has found his goal-scoring touch again. Scoring his first goal after more than a month versus the Chicago Blackhawks, that has sparked young forward. Five-game goalscoring streak followed, just snapped by the loss in St. Louis. However, DeBrusk found the back of the net in each of his last two games. Scoring seven times in his last eight games and surpassing 20-goal mark in the season. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Danton Heinen, struggling during the current season, has seen his opportunity to play with big guys on the top line with the absence of Pastrnak. He saw 11 games in the Boston Bruins February and recorded 11 points. A point-per-game ratio, that is exactly something that the Bruins have been looking for.
The Deadline acquisitions in Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle have solidified the Bruins lineup. Johansson has one assist in his first two games, Coyle is still waiting for his first point in the Bruins uniform in three games. They have brought seize, skill and much-needed experience to the Bruins lineup. For the first time in a while, the Bruins are consistently getting production and reliability from all of their offensive lines.
Taking Down the Giants Right at the End
The Bruins knew they are on a very formidable 13-game point streak after their five-game road trip across the United States. It was a turn to play some hockey back at TD Garden. The start wasn’t easy at all, the two heavyweights of the NHL came to challenge the Bruins.
In the first game against the Sharks, the Bruins out-played their opponent in rather dominant fashion. Despite giving up the unfortunate opening goal of the night, Boston responded with a resounding 4-1 and made the Sharks searching for the answers.
Last day of February has been special. The Lightning came to the town to face the Boston Bruins. Nevertheless, the B´s didn’t look scared at all. In a one-sided game, the Bruins dominated from the start to the finish and defeated the Bolts 4-1. They were able to snap their 10-game winning streak, which was the best one in Tampa´s franchise history. One could argue that the Lightning played on the back-to-back nights with their backup goaltender. Still, it was a nice win for the Bruins as they wanted to make Tampa Bay aware of their presence.
Bruins Hopes to Move Forward
The Boston Bruins February ended up on a high note. Their forwards have been scoring as practically never before in the season. Their defence continues to be stellar and reliable. Goaltending has been splendid. Jaroslav Halak is on a four-game win streak. While Tuukka Rask in on a 16-game point streak recording 13-0-3 run with a .931 SV% in those 16 decisions.
Next month will feature a lot of important games for the Bruins. After finishing their six-game homestand, the Boston Bruins shift to play 10 of their last 14 games in the regular season on the road. Battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second spot in the Atlantic Division is going to be tough. With both teams having played 64 games, the Bruins hold a tiny three-point advantage.
As it appears now, the Bruins have to beat the Maple Leafs in order to secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto. The Bruins will hope that the last season will repeat itself. They want to end second in the Division and the Conference, face the Maple Leafs in the first round and the Lightning in the second round in the playoffs. Boston wants the history to repeat itself exactly to that extent. But there is a hope that the outcome of all that will be different this time.