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Let’s get reacquainted

Thursday, 01.25.2007 / 10:09 AM / News
Boston Bruins
That was a fairly entertaining All-Star Game last night -- especially with Zdeno Chara scoring two goals. His fine performance followed Phil Kessel’s hat trick in the YoungStars Game -- so it was a pretty productive break for the B’s.

That being said, however, I am glad the games count from here on in.

Let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference standings:

Place, Team, GP, Pts
1.* Buffalo, 49, 70
2.* New Jersey, 48, 63
3.* Atlanta, 50, 62
4. Montreal, 49, 59
5. Ottawa, 50, 58
6. Carolina, 50, 56
7. Tampa Bay, 50, 54
8. Pittsburgh, 46, 50
9. NY Rangers, 48, 50
10. Toronto, 49, 50
11. Boston, 46, 48
12. NY Islanders, 47, 48
13. Washington, 48, 47
14. Florida, 50, 46
15. Philadelphia, 47, 27
* = Division Leader

And the Northeast Division standings:

Northeast, GP, W - L - OTL, Pts
Buffalo, 49, 33 - 12 - 4, 70
Montreal, 49, 27 - 17 - 5, 59
Ottawa, 50, 28 - 20 - 2, 58
Toronto, 49, 22 - 21 - 6, 50
Boston, 46, 22 - 20 - 4, 48

As you can see, the Bruins still have the advantage of games in hand.

Unfortunately, so does Pittsburgh -- one of the Bruins chief rivals.

Many pundits are saying that bubble teams are fighting for one of eight playoff spots -- I tend to believe that those teams are fighting for spots number four through eight (5 spots) as the Divisional leaders are most likely set -- Buffalo in particular would be hard for anyone to catch, and unless New Jersey and Atlanta falter, they seem to be in good shape in second and third.

So, beyond Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, the B’s must endeavor to make up ground on the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Carolina while fending off the Islanders, Caps, Panthers and Flyers.

Yuck -- parity is scary.

Buuuuuuuuuuut, if the Bruins are able to win those games in hand, Boston looks to be able to fight for the middle playoff berths (four through six). If not, they will be relegated to fighting for their playoff lives and the seventh and eighth spot.

Just to give us a reminder, let’s take a look at the Bruins statistical leaders:

Player, G - A - Pts
Marc Savard, 18 - 44 - 62
Patrice Bergeron, 15 - 32 - 47
Glen Murray, 22 - 15 - 37
Zdeno Chara, 8 - 22 - 30
Brad Boyes, 8 - 18 - 26

And goaltending:

Player, GP, W-L-OTL, GAA, SV%
Tim Thomas, 37, 19 - 13 - 3, 3.28, .901
Hannu Toivonen, 13, 3 - 6 - 1, 4.00, .881

Needless to say, would-be All-Star center Marc Savard and folk hero goalie Tim Thomas have been very important to the club.

Savard remains seventh in the league in scoring with 62 points and is the emotional catalyst in the locker room. Patrice Bergeron has played major minutes versus the top lines and centers of nearly every team, and in nearly every situation imaginable, so he has also been invaluable. Glen Murray’s 22 goals are not far behind the league leaders in that category and he has scored some really big goals for the Bruins throughout the first half.

Meanwhile, Thomas is not on the goaltending leader board for anything besides shots faced (9th at 1122) and saves (11th at 1011), but he remains the team’s emotional catalyst on the ice and has basically kept Boston in any game he has played. Besides a couple of burps, his puck stopping has been the difference between the B’s being an also ran and fighting for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That being said -- he can’t do it alone. And the reemergence of Hannu Toivonen will certainly help Boston through the very tight schedule of the second half. Beyond that, it is obvious that the two friends will push each other in competition for playing time down the stretch. That should certainly elevate both goalie’s game.

While GM Peter Chiarelli is on record as to his looking for any additions that may help the club, you could easily say that if the Bruins were simply more consistent, they could make some serious hay in the standings department without changing a thing.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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