You know the best way to break a slump? Play the hottest team in the NHL! St. Louis is on a tear right now in the Western Conference. They are currently sitting 4th in the Western Conference, 5 points behind the Detroit Red Wings for first not only in the division, but the conference as well. If you look at the last two months for St. Louis, they went 8-1-2 in January (St. Louis also had 9 home games in January) and are 7-3in February (in a heavy 15 game schedule for the month). 15-4-2 overall. 32 points. That's pretty fucking good since the start of 2012.
Boston's 2012 has been a little rockier than the Blue. In January, Boston went 8-4-1. Respectable, especially when compared to the Blues' 8-1-2. February is where the shit really hits the fan. Boston is currently 3-6 in 9 games and still have 4 left on the docket which includes St. Louis, Buffalo and a home-and-home series with Ottawa. The latter scares me considering that Ottawa is two points out of first place in the Northeast Division. Yes, the Bruins have 4 games in hand but that doesn't guarantee that the Bruins are going to win those four games. Especially if you look at the way they've been playing lately.
The scariest thing about St. Louis is their goal tending. They have a Bruins-esque problem in net, though I believe St. Louis has handled the situation better than Boston has. St. Louis has given Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak a virtual 50/50 split in terms of playing time. Brian Elliot is having a phenomenal year (and was one of my best fantasy hockey waiver wire adds [/pat on back]). Elliot is currently 20-6-2 with a 1.56GAA (good for 1st in the NHL) and a .940 save percentage (good for 2nd in the NHL). Jaroslav Halak isn't a slouch either Halak is 16-10-5 overall, has a 1.95 GAA (good for 4th in the NHL), .923 save percentage(20th overall in the NHL) and 6 shutouts (tied for 2nd in the NHL with Brian Elliot).
The scariest thing about the Bruins is their lack of defensive play. For a team that is based on a tight defensive system, the team is sorely lacking in any type of defense. Want some scary numbers? In the month of February, here is the plus/minus for your Boston Bruins defenseman:
Zdeno Chara: -7
Dennis Seidenberg: -6
Johnny Boychuk: -5
Joe Corvo: -3
Adam McQuaid: -2
Andrew Ference: 0
So basically the trend is the more minutes you play, the shittier you're becoming. That's an eye-popping statistic for anyone who believes that the plus/minus is still relative. It's scary, actually. When you can watch a game and give the "eyeball test" and see that a guy like Chara, who is arguably one of the best defenseman in the NHL, isn't playing up to the level that Zdeno Chara should be playing at you know something is wrong.
I still can't get the Matt Cullen goal out of my head. Dennis Seidenberg is looking at Tim Thomas. Just fucking staring at him at like he has no idea what just happened. Fucking Christ. That clip is just a microcosm of what what the past month has been. A defense that just stares at people as they fire pucks on Thomas and Rask. It's like the Bruins defense had their talents stolen by aliens and the only way to get them back is for Wayne Gretzky to play a hockey game with some cartoon characters!
Ugh, what a mess. There was another goal, and for the life of me I can't remember the game, where a player passed the puck between two defenseman and through the crease and scored an easy NHL 12 style cheese goal. Sickening.
We need the bWo and we need them bad!
After the jump, the res of the preview...
BRUINS WORLD ORDER
We're doing a second printing of the bWo t-shirts. All sizes are back and in stock. Head over to Bottom Line Apparel to order one.
Fuck if I know what Claude is going to do now. With Carter Camper called up, who knows.
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Chris Kelly
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron - Carter Camper - Beniot Pouliot
Dan Paille - Greg Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Adam McQuaid - Andrew Ference
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Do You Know The Enemy
Game Day Video
Fuck it, hockey fights are always awesome.
Bob Gassoff vs Fred O'Donnell Feb 7, 1974