On the heels of another dominant performance, it might be safe to put the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup hangover stories to bed. The defending champions are on a three-game winning streak in which they crushed their opponents 18-5.
There are reasons to believe that the fun is just beginning, too, as tonight’s 6-2 romp against the New York Islanders began a five-game homestand. Let’s take a quick look at the many promising signs.
Quick starts: Versus provides an interesting look at how the Bruins have been scoring in lightning-fast two-goal bunches during their three-game streak:
Two goals in 37 seconds (vs. Ottawa).
Two goals in eight seconds, two goals in 14 seconds and two goals in 28 seconds (vs. Toronto).
Two goals in 29 seconds and two goals in 49 seconds (vs. the Islanders).
In total, that’s 12 goals in less than three minutes. Bruins fans would be well-advised to wait until intermission periods to get up from their seats during this homestand.
Both goalies are getting in on the act: Tim Thomas earned a shutout against the Maple Leafs while Tuukka Rask finally earned a win tonight. That’s a great sign for easily one of the best goalie duos in the NHL.
Everyone’s scoring: For a while, it seemed like the Bruins would need to rely upon Tyler Seguin’s Stamkos-like sophomore surge for offense this season. He’s still red-hot (Seguin scored his eighth goal of 2011-12), but the Bruins must be pleased with three-point nights from struggling top-liners Nathan Horton and David Krejci. (Milan Lucic is playing well again, too, with two points in his own right.)
Much like their slow start, this three-game surge can be attributed to “fun with small samples.” That being said, the Bruins can climb their way back into the Northeast Division title mix if they cash in on this five-game span of home cooking.
Update: here are some highlights of their 6-2 win.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.