The New Year is almost upon us again, and like most people, the Boston Bruins have some New Year's resolutions they hope to try out. Most people usually decide that they are going to go to the gym and try to lose all that weight they put on during the holiday season. Well, they will go for about two weeks and then decide to quit and try again next year.
The Bruins they have a couple of different resolutions up their sleeve.
For starters, they have to figure out who their goalie is going to be as the season moves into its second half. Tim Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy last year, has been anything but stellar.
Thomas, who has a record of 10-9-5 so far, has had his ups and downs during the year. Even with just 10 wins, he has four shutouts. He was expected to carry the load for most of the year, but an early injury sidelined him and gave Tuukka Rask a chance to shine, and he did just that.
Tuukka Rask started as the backup to Thomas this year but has played great when given the chance. Rask is 9-3-2 this year and has just a 1.97 goals against average, one of the best in the league.
Rask has clearly been the better goalie so far, but Thomas, who just signed a new contract extension during the offseason, is making $4 million a year, and the Bruins can't really afford to have a goalie making that much money sitting on the bench night in and out.
The Bruins will also try to find a goal scorer. This season it has been pretty hard for Bruins to put pucks in the back of the net. After having one of the best offenses in the league last year, the offense has hit a wall and struggled for most of this season.
Michael Ryder has been a huge disappointment and one of the reasons why the Bruins haven't been scoring very much. Ryder, who finished with 27 goals and 26 assists last year, has just 10 goals and six assists so far this year.
David Krejci also seems to have hit a sophomore slump. Krejci had 22 goals and 51 assists last year but has just seven goals and 12 assists this year. Krejci is coming off offseason surgery, which was expected to sideline him until December, but somehow Krejci was ready to go for the opener back in October.
With the struggle to score goals, the call for a goal scorer has been out there, but the Bruins don't have a lot of cap space to make such a move. The offense just has to get back into a groove and they will be fine.
The Bruins find themselves right in the thick of playoff race. We're only halfway into the season, but the race has already begun. If the Bruins can make a run right out of the gate at the beginning of this New Year, then they can catapult themselves right to the top of the conference.
I just hope they don't decide to quit on their resolutions two weeks into the New Year. This is a team that can do a lot of damage and be a top team in the NHL. They just need to work hard for it.