When the Boston Bruins lost their final game of 2011 to the Dallas Stars on New Year's Eve, it provided a bitter taste to the end of an utterly spectacular year for the franchise. After a roller coaster Stanley Cup run that brought home the organization's first title in 39 years last summer, the Bruins flipped the page over and scribbled even more success onto the 2011 calendar.
They ring in the new year standing at second place in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the Winter Classic-winning New York Rangers. The Bruins, who own a 24-10-1 overall record, have gone a remarkable 21-3-1 in their last 25 games, righting the ship and asserting their dominance as one of the best teams in the NHL.
If the Bruins wish to stay atop the Eastern Conference and make a run at their second consecutive championship, they will need several key contributors—stars, role players and grinders alike—to sustain their high levels of play for the next several months.