Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Stanley Cup Champion Boston Last In The East

We probably all expected some kind of Stanley Cup hangover for the Boston Bruins.  They have a shorter summer than the other teams and may still have nagging injuries from last season.  It is hard to mentally get up for the games in October that pale in comparison with the important games played in the playoffs last spring.  With that said, did anyone expect that the Bruins would be in last place in the East Conference?  They are too good a team to be there even temporarily for a day or two at the end of October.

Currently Boston has three wins in nine games and sits in last place in the East Conference.  Despite that record, there are signs that they are not as bad as their record shows.  They have only allowed one more goal than they have scored.  That record implies that even with their Stanley Cup hangover play, the Bruins should be around the .500 level (with some overtime loss points to boost their record further).  When things come together in the season, things should get even better.

Boston did not have a group of huge offensive stars when they won the Stanley Cup and they do not this year either.  The only player scoring at point per game rate this season is Tyler Seguin, who was a sometimes healthy scratch during the playoff run in his rookie year.  Beyond him, only Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Patrice Bergeron have as much as 50% of a point per game scoring rate.  David Krejci and Nathan Horton have more expected from them.  Mark Recchi, who was their fifth highest scorer last year, is retired.  Boston will not win with offence alone in the best of times and their offence has not yet caught fire this year.

Defence was the key to Boston winning the Stanley Cup.  Last year Zdeno Chara took charge of the defence and made them a very dominant group.  He is yet to show that level of dominant play this season, though he has not played poorly.  Dennis Seidenberg leads the Bruin defence in playing time so far this season.  He is a solid player, but Chara will have to be the leader for this team to maximize its efficiency.

In goal, Tim Thomas had one of the best years a goaltender has ever had last season.  He is playing well with a 2.14 GAA and a .929 saves percentage, but those numbers are not as good as he recorded last year.

There probably isn’t anything seriously wrong with the Boston Bruins.  I think it is a fluke that they have as poor a record as they do.  Their play so far this season should probably have them somewhere in the middle of the conference and they have been unlucky.  Finishing around the middle of the conference is still not good and would be a sign of a Stanley Cup hangover, but it would not look as serious as their current last place position.  I think Boston will make the playoffs.  They may not be the highest seed and may not have home ice advantage in the playoffs, but they will be a dangerous opponent and may knock off a top seed or two.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com