Behind the Bruins: Big Injury—Bruins jump in standings

The Newtonite

Behind the Bruins is a weekly blog that summarizes the Bruins' previous week and predicts how this week will go for them.
Behind the Bruins is a weekly blog that summarizes the Bruins’ previous week and predicts how this week will go for them.

by Andrew Mannix

Last Week’s Predictions

Win vs. Tampa: √

Win vs. Columbus: √

Loss at. Ottawa: √

Total 4 Points: √

Standing Position, Second Place: √

Last Week

The Bruins had an important schedule this week and they played just as I expected. Going into the week, Boston was in fourth place with 21 points, behind the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bruins started the week on Veterans Day, hosting the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. Previously the Bruins had easily beaten the Lightning twice on the season. It was all the same on Monday with the Bruins shutting out the Lightning for the second time on the year 3-0. However that was not the big news coming out of the game. Lightning star, Steven Stamkos, who led the lead in goals to years ago and came in second last year, broke his tibia possible ending his season. The Lightning, however expect to have him back before the end of the regular season. Even without Stamkos, I don’t expect them to become like the Cleveland Cavaliers after losing Lebron James, considering how deep their team is.

After Tampa the Bruins finished their homestand against the Colombus Blue Jackets. I did not think they were going to win, thanks to their sloppy play, and they did not deserve to win, but they got a lucky break away opportunity and ended it. Milan Lucic scored with a minute to go in overtime to give them the win. The other two goals came from Shawn Thornton and Louis Eriksson.

After getting to play the Blue Jackets the Bruins had to fly to Ottawa to play the Senators the next day. The Bruins showed that they were on the second night of a back to back on Friday. Boston got off to a 2-1 lead and from there I thought they would cruise to a victory, but they choked and the Senators scored three unanswered goals to win 4-2.

The Bruins are now in second place with 25 points, three behind the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. Just behind them, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings are in the other two playoff sports, also with 25 points, but with more games played than Boston.

This Week

The Bruins have a brutal schedule this week with four games against teams who would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

With most people watching the Patriots battle the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, the Bruins will be battling the Carolina Hurricanes a few miles east. The Hurricanes are currently in the wild card spot in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. The Bruins will be well rested and are clearly the better team; I expect them to win easily against Carolina Monday Night.

The Bruins will then fly north to battle the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The Rangers are are a spot ahead of the Hurricanes in third place in the Metropolitan Division. Even though the Bruins will be on the second night of a back to back, I expect them to win on Tuesday night. The Bruins are rolling into this game, winners of five of the last six games. On the flip side, the Rangers, losers of two of the last three, have only scored three goals over their last three games. Of course, the Bruins manhandled the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals last year and have had the Rangers number over the past few years and I expect them to keep it rolling.

After the three game road trip, the Bruins will fly home to face the St. Louis Blues on Thursday evening. The Bruins have not lost to St. Louis in regulation since Dec. 2007. They have only met six times since then and, thanks to the lockout shortened season, they did not meet at all last season. St. Louis is one of the best teams in the NHL with 29 points, good for second place in the Central Division. Even though it does not mean much at all, I expect the city of St. Louis to get the slightest revenge on the city of Boston from the World Series with the Blues beating the Bruins.

After the Blues, the Bruins will battle the Hurricanes for the second time in the week, but this time in Boston. Once again, I expect the Bruins to take care of business against Carolina.

By the end of the week, I picture the Bruins in first place for the first time this season, getting six of the possible eight points this week. The only team ahead of them is currently on a west coast trip, and they will have to face the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion L.A Kings and the number one and two teams in the NHL point wise, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.