|Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady||Patriots and Bills Set To Do Battle on Monday Night Football||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots vs. Rex|
I must admit, as a long time fan, that this Bruins team is very surprising. I looked last night at clips of the past season and wonder how this team could be so bad in their own end. Their 3rd period collapses were so predictable that it becomes a running gag among the fans.
So far, the Bruins are 4th in the conference with 39 points. If you consider that they finished with 76 points last season, it gives you the amplitude of the improvement. On the defensive side, the Bruins only gave up 81 goals so far to the opponents and there’s only 5 teams who allowed less goals the Bruins. That’s an incredible and very positive change if you consider that the team allowed a whopping 289 goals against, last year.
The Bruins have a similar roster from last year (Fernandez, Thornton and Schaefer doesn’t have a lot of impact, so far) so, what’s the difference this year? Coaching! The Bruins found a coach who has leadership and finally convinced the players to buy into his system. Not an exciting one (I concede), but a system which prevent the team from killing itself with bad turnovers and stupid mistakes. Slowly but surely, this Bruins team is starting to do the little things right.
Looking back, fans were probably too hard on the players last season. It’s clear now that Dave Lewis was the problem and his uncanny ability to do nothing has cost the team one year (results wise) and a couple of good young players (Boyes, Jurcina and Toivonen were all traded mostly because of Lewis inability to help them). The Bruins were and are better then we thought. Of course, we will have to wait and see how they will react through the rest of the season, but words like respect, character, passion and work ethic are now on the “menu du jour.” Only for that, the Bruins are a better team.
Quick Notes: Bergy feels well and start a very light workout, yesterday. Andrew Alberts is suffering from a post concussion syndrome and should be out for a couple of games. Bobby Allen filled the void but don’t be surprised to see the Bruins recall Matt Lashoff who played great hockey in Providence. The B’s play tonight against the Pens and that’s your chance to see two of the most exciting players of the NHL: Crosby and Malkin…