Time flies, we’re already at the midway point of the 2017-18 NHL season and looking ahead to the postseason races.
Now that we’re entering the second half of the season, it’s time to break down some of the notable trends occurring for the Bruins as of the midseason point.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what should give Bruins fans some optimism heading into the second half of the season.
The Bruins have been on fire lately and there is a lot of love to go around.
When writing about the ugly quarter mark trends, the headliner was the brutal injury report.
Since then, the team’s health has made a total 180 and it’s been a huge reason why they’ve been so dominant lately.
Depth players have been able to stay on the ice and get more playing time without needing to shuffle around line combinations.
Things have gone so well that Cassidy has been able to leave players such as Anders Bjork as healthy scratches.
The upstart defense
I’m sure by this point you’ve heard all about how awesome rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy is.
He’s just as good, if not better than you’ve heard and has begun to start alongside veteran Zdeno Chara. However, the young blue line’s success goes beyond the rookie McAvoy.
Chara has been awesome as always and Torey Krug has been slowly improving after a rough start to the season.
Brandon Carlo is quietly having a rock-solid sophomore season as well. He hasn’t been as involved on offense, but he is +9 on the ice and avoiding glaring mistakes.
I criticized the Bruins earlier this year for not making plays outside of the first line but since then, they’ve started to get more production from depth players.
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have been awesome alongside Patrice Bergeron (who recently scored four goals in the team’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes) but they’ve had more contributors than just them.
Ryan Spooner and David Backes have been solid contributors despite only recently coming off of injuries. Danton Heinen has been the Bruins best offensive rookie and even Noel Acciari has gotten involved in the scoring.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, championship teams have depth, and if the Bruins can stay healthy they have just that.
There isn’t much else to say here other than naming Bruce Cassidy as head coach last year was the right move by the Bruins.
He got the Bruins back to the postseason last April after a two-year absence and after a full year in his system, he has the Bruins staring down another playoff berth.
Nothing seemed to go right for this team at the start of the season.
In mid-November, they were coming off four straight losses and holding a 6-7-4 record. Since then, they’ve won 18 of 23 games and now sit at second place in the Atlantic Division.
A good chunk of those wins came while the Bruins were still pretty banged up as well.
They were without superstar forward Brad Marchand and looking at a lost season, but hung in and managed to become a potential contender.