Bruins Fall to Fifth Place after Loss to Penguins
Boston, Massachusetts - For the majority of the 2018-19 NHL season, the Boston Bruins have trailed the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres in the Atlantic Division. As a team that was solidly built, they had troubles getting past division leaders last year, too, but this season's middling efforts were exacerbated by a slew of injuries. Now, however, most of the players that the Bruins have lost have made their return to the team (Jake DeBrusk, with a concussion, is the lone exception), but they've still had trouble pulling away. And now, their fourth place consistency has fallen to fifth place as the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins' arch rival, now sit above Boston in the standings. And if the season ended today, the Bruins barely make the playoffs with the last remaining spot in the Eastern Conference.
This being said, I think this is more a product of the Bruins being in the strongest division of hockey. The team will gel and I think the team really is quite primed to go on a long run to cement themselves as one of the best teams in the league. They just have not quite peaked yet.
Regardless, all that matters is the way Boston plays each game and the two most recent ones were split in terms of desirable outcomes.
On Tuesday, the Bruins downed the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-3 after Arizona took a 2-0 lead that was quickly squandered by two goals from Brad Marchand, one from Danton Heinen, and one from David Pastrnak, good for his twenty-first on the season. Getting the win in goal was Tuukka Rask who impressed with thirty saves after he settled down a bit.
On Friday, however, Boston faltered to the Pittsburgh Penguins who had a goalie spectacle of their own when Casey DeSmith saved forty-eight potential goals. He did allow goals from Boston's David Krejci, Brandon Carlo, and Chris Wagner. Boston's Jaroslav Halak only managed to save twenty-three shots while allowing five goals to Pittsburgh.
All the pieces are here for Boston and I believe they're so close to putting it all together. Hopefully, we'll see this come to fruition tonight against the Sabres.