Bruins skate to first place in Eastern Conference with defense

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It is going to be a scary thing for the rest of the teams in the National Hockey League, more specifically the Eastern Conference, when this year’s Boston Bruins team starts playing at the top of its game.

Yes, the Bruins do sit a top of the Eastern Conference with 38 points in 27 games with a 18-7-2 record with Pittsburgh, Montreal, and Detroit right behind them. But as previously stated the team is not playing at the top of its game; so why are the Bruins in first place?

Claude Julien is the silent architect of a brilliant defensive system blessed with one of the best defensive groups in all of hockey. Just like an offensive line, or a pitching rotation, a defensive group in hockey is all about working together. With players like Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boycuck, Adam McQuaid, and others, it is easy for the Bruins to make a tough system look so easy.

Once again the B’s have the best goal differential in the NHL, which is a big key to success. If it were not for the system of Julien and his attention to detail and realization of the importance of defense, this team would not be in the position that it is in now, or has been in the past.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Recently, the Bruins have been playing a more recognizable style of hockey for fans. Banging bodies, having a good forecheck, and dropping the gloves when needed have been a staple of this team for decades. When the Bruins took on St. Louis plenty of that style was on display in a possible Stanley Cup meeting. After being tied after regulation and overtime, the game was settled in the now controversial shootout where St. Louis gained the extra point.

After the shootout loss to St. Louis, the next to game for the Bruins also went to overtime. In these games, Julien decided to skate an extra forward in the 4-on-4 period. In both games, the Bruins were victorious skating only one defenseman with three forwards.

It seems as if they have made a statement to the rest of the NHL, saying they dislike the shootout and want to have the game decided on some sort of hockey play. There have been talks of extending the overtime period in the NHL for next year with the uproars of complaints around the league.

In the last 10 games, the Bruins are 7-2-1 and look to be playing the kind of hockey we all love to watch. Their next game will take place on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. when the B’s travel to the Bell Centre to take on the rival Montreal Canadiens for the first time this year.