In the first three months of the NHL calendar, it was not as it was planned for Boston Bruins. Nevertheless, in the middle of the regular 2018-19 season, they find themselves in the very heart of the playoffs.
Bruins are still looking for Tampa and Toronto in the Atlantic Division. However, they are in a much better position than a week or two when they sit in third place in the Atlantic with 54 points (25-14-4).
"I feel good when I'm honest with you," Bruce Cassidy, head coach, said of the state of play B after winning 6-4 over Calgary Flames on Thursday.
"I think we are halfway now, and as you said, Game 41 and we are at 50 points. So if we repeat the first half, we will be 100 points. How do I feel? I feel pretty good, but we will always do our best to improve and strive for this perfect 60 minute game."
Bruins were followed by an impressive Calgary victory with two additional victories against Minnesota and Buffalo to start the second half of the year.
Before we look at the stories of the remaining 39 games, we remember and share some excursions from the first half of the season in Boston.
David Pastrnak is the legitimate candidate of Hart Trophy.
In the next mentality, type the following statement: David Pastrnak is the legitimate candidate of Hart Trophy in 2019.
In the first four years in Boston, the young Czech wings showed incredible talents. However, he took his game to an entirely new level in the 5th year.
Just 22 years old, Pastrnak – with his marina gloves – leads Bruins with 52 points (25 goals, 27 assists). His 25 goals brought him in three directions for the seventh place in the league, while his 52 points sat in one equalized match for the 13th place.
Pasternak's speed, dynamic agility, an unparalleled set of skills and a general sense of play provide nightmares for counter-defenders on a night-time basis.
POTENTIAL WITH THE TARGET OF THE YEAR – HANDS TEAM
Pastrnak – Grzelcyk (9:20) #LetsGoOilers 1#NHLBruins 1 pic.twitter.com/MVT9dk2s5z
– Boston Bruins at CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) October 11, 2018
But how good is Pasternak season? Well, for the beginning, it is paced to shake the 100-point and 50-meter threshold. Joe Thornton (2002-2003) and Cam Neely (1993-1994) are the last two Bruins, marking individual milestones in one season.
Eye test and statistics do not lie. For the first time, all the stars play their part in treating Hart Trophy.
Bruins have defeated players injuries.
Each team deals with damage to the NHL. Comes with territory. But not to the extent of Bruins, who had more players who lost time with problems.
Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron missed 35 games together. Charlie McAvoy (25 games), Torey Krug (11), Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo (nine) also missed longer periods in the first three months of the year.
Boston Bruinsi used to look at the part of Providence Bruins more often, because they had to call Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Colby Cave and Jeremy Lauzon, who had to step in and fill the boots of proven veteran talents. But their depth and mental strength were kept by a patient's Boston conductor.
"We would like to think that we will be better, simply because many of the guys who were key associates are now healthy and the only one left behind is Charlie," Cassidy said of the current state of health of the team. "Charlie is making good progress."
McAvoy is still daily with lower back injury, and Joakim Nordstrom is outside at least three weeks after the damage to the fibula on Winter Classic. But Bruins are closer to acquiring a clean medical account and finally provide a sharp game for the rest of the league.
Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak provide a dynamic duo that strives for the goal.
Simply put, Bruins would not be in this position without Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Raska. Two goalkeepers were ready for a certain task in addition to occasionally shaking.
Halak, 13-6-2, has been one of the more pleasant surprises for Boston so far. The veteran signed a two-year contract to replace Anton Khudobin as Raska's support. That's what we thought.
At the sixth stop now Halak surpasses the expectations of all, as it is in the percentage (0.926) ranking second in the league and fifth on average (2.36).
Meanwhile, after a terrible October, Rask changed. He was not seen as he returned from his absence in November and his starry winter performance against Chicago Blackhawks at the Notre Dame Stadium marked the biggest victory in his regular season career.
Most people in the beginning demanded a polemic of goalkeepers. This is far from the case. Tandem Rask-Halak is one of the best things that will take place for Bruins this season.
Bruins will need fresh goals when they reach the finish line. The division of the beginnings between Raska and Halak – and the limitation of wear that comes from the position – already helps this cause.