Are the Boston Bruins the best team in the NHL right now?
Record-wise, they cannot make that argument just yet. Both the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks are currently ahead of the B’s with 52 points to Boston’s 51 and the Vancouver Canucks could move to 53 if they hold onto their lead against the Minnesota Wild tonight.
Still, those teams have played at least one if not four more games (click here for the NHL standings) than the Bruins – and they haven’t been dominating opponents like Boston has since they shook off their Stanley Cup hangover. The Big, Bad Bruins are battering teams so brazenly that they now have a +60 goal differential, which is by far the best mark in the league.*
Feel free to debate the merits of the league’s best teams in your personal power rankings, but the bottom line is that Boston is buzz-sawing their way through should-be contenders. The New Jersey Devils were the latest victims tonight, as Boston beat them 6-1 after New Jersey built a 1-0 lead.
That’s some slick work by Patrice Bergeron, among others. Ilya Kovalchuk called this game the “worst [the Devils] played all year,” but the Bruins have elicited that reaction from many teams this season and the list looks likely to grow as 2011-12 goes along.
* – The Detroit Red Wings are in second place at +40.