Scott Walker was the only man to stand between the Boston Bruins and the Prince of Whales Trophy last year. This year the Bruins have a whole new set of challenges, to begin the scoring rampage that shook the league last year and to bring Tim Thomas to the top of his game.
Both have the opportunity to begin Tuesday night against the defending champions.
The young season has been nothing short of brutal to Boston, which has only produced 16 points. Much of the troubles stem from the lack of scoring amongst Boston's star players, including Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara, who scored his first goal of the season Saturday.
"A lot of guys were due," Marco Sturm noted after scoring his first goal in twelve games Saturday.
There is still one man due up for a big game to get the ball rolling, Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas, who has been without a victory in his past four starts. The team has been relying on back-up Tuukka Rask for the last two starts.
Thomas is likely to start Tuesday night however against the Pittsburgh Penguins who have had their share of difficulties as of late.
Despite an Eastern-Conference leading 24 points, the Penguins have gone 0-3 on their road trip thus far. Injuries to the likes of Evgeni Malkin, gritty defenseman Sergei Gonchar, and playmaker Maxime Talbot have played a direct role in the losses.
These key injuries plus a the conclusion of a terrible road trip provide the perfect situation for the Bruins to take a key victory over the defending cup champions and propel them into the second month of the season.
Look out for the Bruins this month, they are on a mission to prove that last year was not a fluke, but the birth of a true dynasty.