Bruins smother Habs for ninth win in a row

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On a normal NHL night, the Boston Bruins would be the talk of the town. They took a backseat to a certain hockey icon this Monday night – Versus swapped its coverage from their game against the Montreal Canadiens – but the Bruins did something almost as impressive as Sidney Crosby’s comeback.

The B’s rolled into Montreal and managed to grind out a 1-0 victory, their ninth consecutive win. Amazingly, it took that much for them just to move into a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres for the Northeast Division lead at 24 points.

(Technically, Boston is in first place because they have a game in hand on Buffalo and two on Toronto, but it shows that the Bruins cannot rest on their laurels.)

Thomas wasn’t all that bad in the beginning of the season – scoring was a bigger problem than anything else – but he’s on fire again now. The Bruins netminder is on a two-game shutout streak and produced three goose eggs in six starts during that nine-game run.

The most impressive number is the Bruins’ goal differential, though; their +26 margin is far and away the best of any team in the NHL. (The Pittsburgh Penguins are behind them with +15.) It’s still a small sample, but that’s an indicator that they’re dominating again.

So, yes, the Bruins aren’t getting the headlines today, but the defending champions are rampaging through the league like a big, angry bear right now. They’re winning games by shutting teams down and blowing them out, which might help them steal the spotlight from glamor teams when the games matter the most … again.