Bruins still in the mix
The Boston Bruins are in town tonight to face the Maple Leafs, and surprisingly are still in the playoff hunt, albeit barely.
Despite their inconsistent goaltending, shipping out of defencemen (Milan Jurcina and Brad Stuart), injuries and a large cast of newcomers, the Bruins have somehow put together a 6-2-0 run here of late, which is about all that's kept them in the Eastern Conference race. A win over Toronto tonight, and Boston pulls within four points of the eight-place Maple Leafs with a game in hand.
Not bad for a team many had written off weeks ago.
It's hard to believe they're still in the mix despite the fact the team's stats sheet looks remarkably like a PGA leaderboard. Part of the reason they've been successful lately is the help the Bruins have found in unlikely places, namely with the likes of Brandon Bochenski (five goals and seven points in seven games in Boston) and Andrew Ference (who is one of the few plus players on the team through four games). I think it's also high time we give some kudos to Marc Savard, who is fourth in league scoring and on pace for 107 points. (Spector inexplicably dumped on Savard in the preseason, but his continued strong play was one of the things I managed to get right. Then again, I picked the Bruins to finish sixth in their conference, so...)
Tim Thomas has also turned his game around lately, although it'll be sophomore Hannu Toivonen in goal tonight.
It's a big game for Boston, especially with Patrice Bergeron and Glen Murray ailing, but it's not quite time to write the Bruins off yet.
Maybe after tonight.