The Boston Bruins are heading towards a New Year’s Day showdown with their rival Montreal Canadiens and it appears the Bruins have been overlooking their last few opponents before their big game. After going 12-1-3 in the previous 16 games the Bruins have lost three straight.
All three games came at a time when the Bruins could have taken over the top spot in the Atlantic Division and erased the ridiculous start that the Canadiens had to begin the season. The game versus Buffalo was a complete lack of focus that cost the Bruins an easy two points. Boston still finds itself in a great position, they are seventh in the Eastern Conference with games in hand on just about everyone and only sit three points behind the Canadiens for the division lead.
However, the climb to the top got a little harder as David Krejci was injured against Ottawa and has been diagnosed with the vague week-to-week title. The loss of Krejci makes Boston’s top rated power play extremely week. Krejci’s vision on the ice allows others to freely skate to the open areas knowing the puck will land on their stick when they need it to be, now Ryan Spooner will try to fill those shoes.
Spooner was chomping at the bit slide into the line between Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson during his interview this morning, but talking confident and playing confident are two drastically different things. Spooner will have to dig deep to make sure little mistakes, that at time have gotten him banished to the bench, do not add up too quickly and he is ready to go when Claude calls on him.
The Bruins play the back end of a home and home with Ottawa tonight and getting two points will go a long way to making sure they keep their eyes on the prize and do not let the lure of a prime time game with the Canadiens continue to hamper their play. Boston will have their hands full with no Krejci or Krug in the lineup for tonight’s game but playing before the home crowd should help amp up the energy of the team.
Boston has already surprised everyone with their play this year, but having the division firmly in their sights at the end of December should be enough of an incentive to keep their fire burning.
Written by Dan Cantone for OTWS, follow me on Twitter @cantone11