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12-20-2008, 08:02 PM
  #91
cneely
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I'm not sure if Boston is catchable but I think they're more of a 100-point team than a 130-point team. They are on a really hot streak however, and that may lead them to finishing the season with 110-115 points or thereabouts.

Last year they were not a playoff-caliber team. They had a negative goal-differential. They made the playoffs ahead of Buffalo which was a stronger team with a better differential, mostly because Buffalo was unlucky and would score their goals in bunches, so they'd have a few really big wins and many narrow losses.

This year? Somehow they turned into a team with a negative goal-differential into a 130-point powerhouse by adding Bergeron and Ryder. Yeah... Allow me to remain skeptical. I'll grant that dramatic turnarounds are possible (last year's Canadiens, for one) and their goal-differential is beyond reproach. But I have trouble imagining that much of a turnaround in one year.
It's not just Ryder and Bergeron.
Kessel has come into his own, Lucic is going from a 27 point 3rd liner to a 55 point power forward, and Krejci is turning into a PPG center. Add in Wheeler, a further improvement from Wideman, and some great young depth in Hunwick, Sobotka and Nokailanen, and they've been getting improvement from many areas.

Quote:
The goaltending spike has already been noted in this thread, and that's the first thing that's likely to drop to more normal levels; I don't see Boston maintaining a .930-or-more save% for the rest of the year.
Their playing beyond the norm no doubt, but these are 2 excellent goaltenders (career Sv% of .910+ for each) who are excelling under a solid defensive system. I can see them each putting up career numbers simply due to the system.


Having said all that...
The Bruins have benefitted from a very weak December sched. Looking at the schedule, I knew we would make some ground on the Habs in December. I expect things to even out a bit, and remain tight till April.

Cheers.

cneely is online now