This year's Boston Bruins keep finding ways to win, but is collapse on the horizon?
Last season was supposed to be a step back for the Boston Bruins, then they authored one of the best regular seasons the NHL's ever seen. This year though? This was when they were supposed to fall off entirely.
The best two-way forward in the history of hockey, Patrice Bergeron, hung them up in the offseason, as did the second thrust of the Bruins' lethal one-two punch down the middle, David Krejčí. Trade deadline rentals Dmitri Orlov, Garnet Hathaway, and Tyler Bertuzzi went elsewhere in free agency, and Taylor Hall was shown the door in a cap dump trade.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney addressed the holes in his lineup as best he could with the limited resources available to him, signing veterans on the cheap like James van Riemsdyk, Milan Lucic, and Kevin Shattenkirk in addition to the younger Morgan Geekie. The betting odds gave them a bit more benefit of the doubt at 100.5 points, but fans were more skeptical placing them at 95.
So of course the team leapt out to a 13-1-2 record, positioning itself at the top of the standings and causing many around the league to let out an anguished “He can't keep getting away with this” in the voice of Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman.
Lately, though, those preseason questions have re-asserted themselves as the team has gone 1-3-1 in their past five games. Is this gravity kicking in? What was driving the early results, and what is this team actually capable of? Let's find out.
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