Boston Bruins 2017-18 mid-season recap and analysis

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 23: Brad Marchand
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 23: Brad Marchand /

There have been some ups and downs so far this season for the Boston Bruins.

The first half of the NHL season has been a whirlwind of emotions for Bruins fans. It was a rough start for the Boston Bruins, but they were able to take back control of their season and now sit at third place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins didn’t have the best of starts to a season. In their first ten games, the team was 4-3-3. The main concern was goaltending. Tuukka Rask was struggling a lot. In his first ten starts, he allowed three or more goals in eight games. He was playing out of position and was simply terrible in net. It’s hard to win games when your goalie is allowing so many goals.

Then Anton Khudobin came along. Khudobin took the starting job from Rask for awhile. He went on a streak of some great hockey. At one point he was even undefeated in regulation. Then after Rask was reintegrated into the rotation it seemed that a different player was between the pipes. Khudobin struggled and it appeared that Rask was now the hot goaltender. Ever since regaining his job Rask has been playing great in net. He boasted a record of 11-0-2 ending the first half on a high note.

First-half stars

The Bruins have gotten some good performances from a good amount of players so far this season. Their first line has been phenomenal. Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron have combined for 111 points so far this season.

Marchand leads the group in scoring. Last season was his best as a pro, and he may have an even better season this year. He has 17 goals and 23 assists and has been playing phenomenal. Also, his rating of +19 puts him in the top three on the team.

Right behind him is Pastrnak who struggled recently scoring but has gotten the monkey off his back. Pastrnak has 17 goals and 22 assists and continues to show he was worth the contract he got in the offseason. He is a wizard in the attacking zone and is able to score some amazing goals.

Last but not least in the first line is Bergeron. He missed a month due to a lower-body injury early on in the season but has been the spark plug this team needed. It seems that when #37 is playing everything comes together. He has 16 goals and 16 assists in 35 games this season. The chemistry that these three guys have is unmatched. It seems like they were all born to play with each other.

The Bruins have also gotten some great production from some surprising young players. Danton Heinen has been playing great this season. After getting sent down to the AHL he has been a great 3rd line forward. He is a quality two-way forward who knows how to fight for the puck. He has 10 goals and 20 assists on the season.

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Also, Jake DeBrusk has taken advantage of his time in the NHL. He has 9 goals and 12 assists this season. DeBrusk has slowly gotten more confident in his game, and because of that has performed better. His wrist shot is deadly and his best weapon in the offensive zone. It would be difficult to say that anyone expected such a quality year from the rookie.

Finally, there is Charlie McAvoy who has taken the league by storm once again. He has proved to everyone that he is a top defenseman and a player the Bruins shouldn’t dare let go off. He has 5 goals and 16 assists this season. McAvoy personifies what it means to be a Bruin as he is able to launch a shot for a goal, and the next play delivers a powerful check in the defensive zone. His efforts this season make him an easy Calder Trophy candidate.

Next: Marchand is Boston's only All-Star

The Bruins kick off their second half of the season on Saturday against the Montreal Canadians. They will look to continue their winning ways as the 2018 NHL Playoffs approach in the spring.