Bruins Still The Team to Beat This Postseason
With that said, however, the Boston Bruins, this year's President's Trophy winner as the league's best team, are the club to beat in order to win hockey's Holy Grail this season. Sure, the San Jose Sharks have shown that they might be the team to beat, but from top to bottom in this year's playoffs, the Bruins have it all.
For the Bruins, it all starts with the play of their Vezina Trophy nominated netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask, 27, had a stellar regular season for his hockey club this season as he went 36-15-6 with a 2.04 goals against average (fourth in the league), a .930 save percentage (second in the league) and seven shutouts (first in the league).
As expected, Rask has carried his strong play from the regular season into this year's postseason against the Detroit Red Wings. In four games, Rask is 3-1 with a 0.96 goals against average (second in the league), a .966 save percentage (second in the league) and one shutout (first in the league).
From Rask, it goes to the team's depth on offense, which has shown through in the playoffs this year. Ten forwards have at least one point this postseason while for forwards have at least two points.
Offensively, this team has gotten strong performances from the likes of Patrice Bergeron (one goal and three assists for four points), Jarome Iginla (one goal and two assists for three points), Milan Lucic (two goals), and Reilly Smith (one goal and one assist for two points). In each game so far, Bruins' head coach Claude Julien has been able to roll four lines knowing that on each line, he has someone that has the ability to produce.
Speaking of producing, the team is once again getting points from their blue line, something they got a lot of in last year's playoffs. Defensemen like Dougie Hamilton (one goal and two assists for three points), Torey Krug (one goal and two assists for three points), and Zdeno Chara (one goal) have all found the back of the net against the Red Wings and have also shown that they are not afraid to join the play.
Defensively, the Bruins are playing like they did in the regular season. This season, the Bruins were the second best team in terms of goals against per game and in the postseason this year, they have been even better if you can believe that.
This is a team that will block a lot of shots, that will force teams to the outside, and that will stand their opponents up at the blue line. They have made life very difficult for the Red Wings in the first round and even Red Wings' head coach Mike Babcock has admitted that the Bruins' defense has not made things easy for his hockey club.
The Bruins are strong in every area of the game and are heads and shoulders above every other team in this year's Cup tournament. Much like they were in the regular season, they are still the team to beat at the most important time of the hockey year.