Boston Bruins the Hottest Team in the NHL— Are You Serious?
As a die-hard Bruins' fan, I was simply hoping for continued improvement and maybe clinching as high as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. I felt they got better with the Michael Ryder addition and with Patrice Bergeron coming back from injury.
Did I expect this?
Tim Thomas is the best goaltender in the NHL right now and this team is playing better than anyone in the league. They have all bought into Claude Julien's system and they are all willing to stick up for one another.
Often called one of the most boring teams to watch last season, they are the exact opposite this season. Anyone on this team can score goals. Marc Savard might be the best passer in the game. Did I mention a beast of a man named Milan Lucic is close to the top of the league in hits, can score, pass, and fight (ask Mike Komisarek about his fighting ability)?
This team is absolutely on fire. After a slow start, they are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. Are you kidding me? That is absolutely unreal. They are tied for first in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers at 30 points and they have two games at hand.
They lead the Northeast Division by four points over the hated Montreal Canadiens, but Montreal has two games at hand.
Overall, it has been an exciting start to the season for Bruins' fans so far. They have figured out how to play the ultimate team game as a team and they are doing it without the most talented players in the league. Each player knows their role and understands how they fit into the system.
Do I think the Bruins can keep it up? I have no idea. I'm not used to a Bruins team performing this well. I don't know how to feel in this situation and I am trying so hard not to get too excited and over confident.
Yes, I think they will come back down to Earth, but from what I have seen so far, they can challenge for the Northeast Division title, and ultimately a top three seed in the Eastern Conference.
If you are a hockey fan out there, watch this team play especially tonight when they take on the Habs in Montreal. This game will have everything from goals to hits to fights.
Oh, did I mention Patrick Roy's number is going to be retired before the game? That should only add to the intensity of this rivalry.
Who’s hot heading into the Bruins-Islanders series on each side?
The second round is here, after the Boston Bruins made quick work of the No. 2 Washington Capitals in the first round.
The Bruins get a matchup with the New York Islanders, who took down the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. It’s a team the Bruins struggled with in the regular season, losing five of the eight games against the Islanders.
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However that was the pre-deadline Bruins. And boy is that an entirely different team. It took a couple games against Washington to settle on, but the Bruins have been rolling, ending the Capitals’ series on a high note.
Which Bruins and which Isles are coming into the second round on a hot streak?
Tuukka Rask, G: The Rask haters might have been yelling from the mountaintops after Game 1, but they were awfully silent by the end of the series. He was fantastic in the four wins, including a 40-save performance in Game 5, finishing the series with a 1.81 goals-against average (GAA) and had a .941 save percentage (SV%).
Josh Bailey, RW: Every team has that one guy that always seems to come out of nowhere and score in the big moments — for the Islanders, that’s Josh Bailey. Three goals and three assists for Bailey in the first series, including the Game 5 OT winner and two assists in the Game 6 clincher. He has 32 points in 36 playoff games over the last three postseasons.
Charlie McAvoy, D: McAvoy is blossoming into an elite defenseman in the league at the perfect time. If McAvoy was producing the way he is in the this year’s playoffs all season long, he’d be the favorite for the Norris Trophy, and I don’t know if it would be close. He has five assists in five games this postseason and has been an analytics dream.
Ilya Sorokin, G: Sorokin was not supposed to be the starting goaltender in the playoffs. But when Varlamov wasn’t available for Game 1, then proceeded to play poorly and lose two straight games, Sorokin took over and has not disappointed. He’s yet to lose and has a .943 SV% and a 1.95 GAA. But will the young goaltender, who is playing in his first NHL playoffs, continue to handle the pressure?
Anthony Beauvillier, LW: A three-point performance in Game 6 capped out a great series for Beauvillier. He has a four-game point streak and is tied for the lead in points with J-G Pageau, each with seven in the playoffs.
David Pastrnak, RW: The first three games of the series were not some of the best hockey from Pastrnak, who seemed invisible at times on the ice. Well Pasta is back, especially after back-to-back games with a goal and an assist to end the series. Plus, he had his highlight-reel goal in Game 5 that broke the internet for a bit.
Boston Bruins: Ranking the 10 hottest players heading into playoffs
Matt Grzelcyk Boston Bruins (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Since the NHL trade deadline, the Boston Bruins are on an 11-3-1 roll and peaking at the right time.
Trade deadline acquisitions are actually making an impact for once and there are no major injuries that will linger into the postseason (fingers crossed), and the team is trending in the right direction for what is sure to be one of the last Cup runs for this Bruins core.
As it stands now, the Bruins are the third seed in the MassMutual East and would face the second seed Washington Capitals in the first playoff series. The Bruins are 4-1-2 against the Capitals this season.
The two teams will get a last look at each other on May 11 before the likely playoff series, both of their final matchups of the 2020-21 NHL regular season.
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With that being said, let’s take a look at the top ten Bruins with the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the horizon. Keep in mind that this list is intended to lean on recency bias, and reflects the player’s performance’s since the trade deadline on April 12.
Boston Bruins 9th and 10th best player since the NHL Trade Deadline
Leading off is Matt Grzelcyk. The undersized defenseman has made an impact playing a bigger role on defense and established himself as a top-4 defenseman this season.
Grz isn’t a guy whose skills will blow you away, he’s just a consistent and reliable guy to stick next to Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo.
He’s tallied seven points in ten games since the deadline, with a +7 personal rating, eight hits, and nine blocks.
Sliding it at the No.9 spot is Craig Smith. The 31-year-old free agency addition has been a solid addition for the Bruins, but the arrival of Taylor Hall in Boston has been a huge boost to his game.
Since the deadline, Smith has scored five of his 13 total goals on the season and has a +12 personal rating with one of the best Corsi percentages of his career.
If Smith is able to continue to click with Hall and David Krejci, we might finally be looking at an acceptable second line heading into the postseason.
Next: Boston Bruins 6th, 7th, and 8th best player since the NHL Trade Deadline
Boston Bruins: 10 hottest players heading into second round
Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
After losing the first game of the series, the Boston Bruins manhandled the Washington Capitals, winning four straight games to move onto the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
While we wait to see whether the Bruins will play the Pittsburgh Penguins or the New York Islanders, let’s take a look at the Bruins top performers in the first five games of the playoffs.
The Boston Bruins 9th and 10th best players in the first round
Bringing up the rear is Charlie Coyle. The kid from Weymouth didn’t stuff the stat sheet in round one, but he played tough and created offensive chances throughout the series, capping it off (no pun intended) with a dagger of a goal in Game 4 to make it 3-0 early in the third period.
At number nine is Matt Grzelcyk. Grz played alongside fellow BU product Charlie McAvoy for the majority of the series and was effective on both ends of the ice. He had the primary assist on Brad Marchand’s overtime goal in game 2 and was extremely effective at keeping the puck moving on the power play.
Next: Boston Bruins 6th, 7th, and 8th best players in the first round
Players hottest bruins
The 30 Hottest Players In The NHL (National Hotness League)
I would like to extended my gratitude to the parents of these men. The gene pool did you well in athletics and appearance.
1. Anaheim Ducks - Jared Boll (#40, right wing)
He looks Dylan O'Brien. There were also pictures of him holding puppies and those were great.
2. Boston Bruins - Adam McQuaid (#54, defenseman)
If I'm being honest, I picked him because he looks like Tyler Seguin.
3. Buffalo Sabres - Ryan O'Reilly (#90, centerman)
Number 90 on the ice, almost number one in my heart.
4. Calgary Flames - Matthew Tkachuk (#19, left wing)
*Suit and Tie by Justin Timberlake plays in the background*
5. Carolina Hurricanes - Klas Dahlbeck (#6, defenseman)
I am very, very jealous of this dog.
6. Chicago Blackhawks - Jonathan Toews (#19, centerman)
They call him Captain Serious for a reason -- he's seriously hot.
7. Colorado Avalanche - Gabe Landeskog (#92, left wing)
He's called Gabe the Babe for a reason.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets - Alexander Wennberg (#41, centerman)
Are you a parking ticket? You've got fine written all over you.
9. Dallas Stars - Jamie Benn (#14, left wing)
Dallas is a very lucky city. Trust me, I wanted to put Tyler Seguin too but if I started picking two players for each team I'd be here all night.
10. Detroit Red Wings - Gustav Nyquist (#14, right wing)
He's pretty sweet for a Swede.
11. Edmonton Oilers - Oscar Klefborn (#77, Defenseman)
If I suddenly go missing, I'm either in Edmonton or Sweden.
12. Florida Panthers - Aaron Ekblad (#5, defenseman)
Florida is known for it's beaches and it's beauties.
13. Los Angeles Kings - Jeff Carter (#77, right wing)
King of the ice and king of my heart.
14. Minnesota Wild - Marco Scandella (#6, defenseman)
Trilingual, tattooed and drop dead gorgeous.
15. Montreal Canadiens - Jordie Benn (#8, defenseman)
Dallas did Canada a favor when they traded Jordie Benn.
16. Nashville Predators - James Neal (#18, right wing)
I wanted to pick the whole team, but after consulting my mom, we agreed on the Real Deal James Neal because he looks like McDreamy.
17. New Jersey Devils - Beau Bennett (#19, right wing)
This team didn't give me much hope, so I picked a former Pittsburgh Penguin.
18. New York Islanders - Casey Cizikas (#53, centerman)
His eyes are bluer than the blue on his jersey.
19. New York Rangers - Henrik Lundqvist (#30, goal tender)
It's a shame that you have a mask covering your face.
20. Ottowa Senators - Derick Brassard (#19, centerman)
I wonder if all the pads helped when you fell from heaven.
21. Philadelphia Flyers - Brayden Schenn (#10, centerman)
As a Penguins fan, this was a painful team to look at, but alas I found a Flyer worthy of staring at.
22. Phoenix Coyotes - Oliver Ekman-Larsson (#23, defenseman)
Just like the Arizona desert, you sir, are hot.
23. Pittsburgh Penguins - Kris Letang (#58, defenseman)
24. Saint Louis Blues - Colton Parayko (#55, defenseman)
How could Saint Louis feel blue with someone like you?
25. San Jose Sharks - Chris Tierney (#50, centerman)
Shark bait ooh la la.
26. Tampa Bay Lightning - Steven Stamkos (#91, centerman)
If I were Taylor Swift, I'd write so many songs about you.
27. Toronto Maple Leaves - Auston Matthews (#34, centerman)
A is the first letter in the alphabet and you're the first in my heart.
28. Vancouver Canucks - Bo Horvat (#53, centerman)
Don't mind me, just applying for a passport so I can go to Canada.
29. Washington Capitals - Tom Wilson (#43, right wing)
Another gift from the nation's capital.
30. Winnipeg Jets - Chase De Leo (#17, centerman)
What a baaaaabe.
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