Tag Archives: sarah is a stats nerd

Take Back the City: Bruins @ Sabres

This is a big one, y’all.

So we won a game. We won a game after dropping an amazing 10 straight, after panic about tanking the season and “who’re we gonna draft?” talks swirled everywhere. But we broke the streak – with a Tuukka Rask shutout, no less – and now it’s on to Buffalo.

This guy, I'm telling you.

It was nice to beat the Habs, it really was – but here’s the deal, guys. Tonight’s game? Way more important.

The Bruins have the #2 penalty kill in the league. We’re sitting pretty at 86.7 percent right now. But guess who’s at 86.8 percent? The SABRES. Tuukka’s got a sweet save percentage, still; 2nd in the league at .929. Guess who’s sitting at .931? Ryan Miller. (and Tomas Vokoun, but we’re leaving him out for dramatic purposes right now.)

Niemi who? Let's get our prettier goalie back atop the GAA too please.

Ference is back, Krejci’s probable, Sturmface is on Bergy’s line (SO good!), and McQuaid stepped up bigtime in Johnny B’s absence two nights ago, looking good paired with Ference. This is our chance to not only reclaim our rightful place as leaders of the PK pack, to not only get Tuukka the rightful save % leader photo he deserves, but to make ourselves contenders, tying Philly and Tampa for the 7th-8th playoff position, and putting more distance between us and the Thrashers/Rangers/Panthers. The playoff race is still hot, with only a 5-point spread between 6th and 12th; every two points count, and our guys aren’t giving up the season anytime soon.

Maybe we can get a little more of this, too? Just...with less falling down this time, okay Wheels?

Let’s get ’em. GO BRUINS.

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I see what you did there

Did you know that if the playoffs started today, the Bruins would actually be in?

Yes, at this point in the season, a 12-8-5 would be good enough to score us a #4 seed. Here’s what the playoff brackets would look like:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Washington
3. New Jersey
4. Boston
5. Ottawa
6. Buffalo
7. There are like 10 teams tied for 7th right now

Who are the Bruins playing today? Ottawa. It’ll be fun to think about in terms of what we might see in April.

Additionally, with 25 games gone in the season and 29 points, with this record, the Bruins are on pace to get 97 points. This isn’t the stellar 106 we had last year, but it’s acceptable, and enough to get us a playoff spot for sure.

I’ve missed two games this week due to traveling in the back-country wilds of Wyoming, but from what I heard, the Wild game was crazy epic, but the Devils game was…a typical low-scoring Devils game, and that the Bruins woke up too late in the third to stage any sort of comeback. 2-1 SO loss. We’re still awful in the shootout. Our powerplay is 27th in the league, only converting 14% of chances to goals. But our penalty kill is 2nd, killing off 85% of other team’s chances. One is horrible, one is awesome; hopefully they even out a little as the season goes on.

The scary part comes when you start looking at goals. The Bruins have scored 56 goals in 25 games. Okay, you say. That’s a little over 2 goals per game; not too terrible. But look around the league. Carolina has the same record: 56 goals in 25 games. Nashville is the only team with fewer goals than Boston: 55 goals in 24 games. That could easily change.

The difference between a team like Carolina at the bottom of the bucket, or Toronto in a similar situation (yet with 66 goals in 24 games) and a team like Boston with a much better record is DEFENSE. But while it’s fantastic that we’ve clawed our way to 4th in the East with that small amount of goals – San Jose, the current league leader, is sitting pretty with 89 goals in 27 games. Washington? 85 in 25, sitting in 2nd in the east. The Bruins need to start producing goals, or they’re going to get to the playoffs and run into an epic roadblock, fancy defense or no.

For the record, Ottawa has 68 goals in 23 games.

Bring it on.