November 2019 Check-In: Boston Bruins
BOSTON - Few NHL seasons have gotten off to as good of a start as the Boston Bruins' 2019-20 campaign has. The Bruins currently have the league's best record, but that does not mean other teams, like the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers, are not nipping at their heels.
Where They Stand: The Bruins currently have a record of 11-1-2 for 24 total points in the league. They are 8-0-2 in their last ten games and have won six in a row. It's a hot start befitting of a solid team and it shows that this team has no Stanley Cup hangover. Boston just came back against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night to win 6-4 at home and they have a road game against their arch rival Montreal Canadiens tonight. They have a four point lead in the Atlantic Division and while the season is still in its early stages, there is no way to not be happy with the team's performance thus far.
Where They Were Last Month: Last month, the Bruins were getting ready for the season and many had expectations that they would be an average-to-good team in the league. Us Boston fans believed they were among the NHL's elite, however, and the boys in black and gold have proved us right so far.
Biggest Strength: The Bruins, thanks to Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask, lead the league in save percentage with a .932 rate and goals allowed with 2.14 per game. But as good as the goalies have been, there is no denying that the offense has been elite. Brad Marchand leads the league in plus/minus with 15 and he leads the team in assists with 18.
The only one of the six major statistical categories that the Bruins do not lead so far in the entire league is wins because of the timeshare between Halak and Rask. Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights leads this category.
However, it is David Pastrnak who has become the star I anticipated him being. He was named Player of the Month for October and so far on the season, he has an impressive point streak that has led him to 29 total points with 14 goals in the mix. Both of these lead the league.
Biggest Weakness: It is honestly hard to think of a weakness right now as everything is clicking for the Bruins so far. However, I will say that the team is engrossed in penalty minutes, both for and against. While having a strong power play is great, there is a danger in becoming too reliant on it. But again, this is a minor nitpick.
Where to Next: Up next, the Bruins have a thick November schedule with challenging opponents, but it's nothing they can't handle. The marquee matchup to watch for is a home game against the Capitals on November 16. That is sure to be a thriller of a game! It'll be hard for the Bruins to keep up their current pace, but there's no denying they are the hottest team in all of sports right now.