2010 NHL Playoffs: The Five Best Boston Bruins so Far
The Boston Bruins may have shocked many people when they upset the third-seeded Buffalo Sabres and Vezina Trophy finalist Ryan Miller in the first round of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, but they weren't very surprised.
This is a team that just one year ago finished atop the Eastern Conference until bowing out in the second round to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins struggled through all sorts of injuries this year and at one point lost 10 straight games, falling all the way to 12th in the east.
They battled through it all though, eventually catching fire at the end of the year to finish sixth in the east and earn a first-round matchup with the Sabres. After dispatching the Sabres in six games, they found themselves paired with the Philadelphia Flyers who had also pulled off an upset defeating the New Jersey Devils in five games.
The Bruins have a talented roster, but these are the five that have stepped up their game and gotten the B's to where they are now.
5. Dennis Wideman
I am sure everyone is shocked to see Wideman at No. 5. I am very surprised myself. Wideman has made his share of mistakes this postseason but has made up for them in a big way.
Wideman, who struggled through most of the year and was even booed by the hometown faithful, has found his game once again in the postseason.
Through eight games, Wideman is tied for second on the team in scoring, recording one goal and seven assists. He is a plus two and is logging nearly 25 minutes of ice time a game.
He has finally started to play like the Wideman of last year and if he can keep his play up, he will play a big part in the Bruins advancing to the conference finals.
4. David Krejci
David Krejii has been a huge spark for the Bruins in this year's playoffs.
He is currently tied for the team lead in goals with four and has seven points in total. After struggling during the year after hip surgery in the offseason, Krejci has turned it around at the right time.
He is a plus three and has scored two power play goals, helping to reawaken the Bruins' power play unit. He is also playing nearly 21 minutes a night — the most of any Bruins forward.
3. Patrice Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron is just 24 years old, but he is playing like a veteran. He led the team in points during the regular season and is keeping the same pace in the post-season.
He is second in points only behind Miroslav Satan with eight and is a plus three. He had the game-winning goal in Game Three against the Sabres which proved to be the momentum change that helped the Bruins beat the Sabres. He also netted a game-tying goal in the third period of Game Four to help send the game to OT.
Bergeron has shown why is a promising candidate for the 'C' of this Bruins team. If he continues to play at the level he is at right now, there is no reason why the Bruins can't march all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
2. Tuukka Rask
In case you hadn't heard, this kid Tuukka Rask is pretty darn good in net.
Rask, who is a rookie and making his playoff debut, has been nothing short of spectacular. He single-handedly helped the Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres..
Rask, who wasn't expected to leave the bench much this year, ended up starting half of the Bruins' games and claimed the starting job from Tim Thomas. He ended up leading the league in goals against average and save percentage.
Through this year's playoffs, Rask has thus far compiled a record of 6-2 with a 2.33 GAA good enough for third and a .922 save percentage. He has made some highlight-reel stops, including lunging all the way across the crease to rob Mike Grier of the Buffalo Sabres.
If Rask continues to play Patrick Roy-esque, then the Bruins will have a shot at lifting their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
1. Miroslav Satan
Where the heck did Mirolsav Satan come from. Out of nowhere Satan has become a savior for the Bruins and a cult hero in Boston. Satan who was signed in January to try and help bolster the Bruins offense has been the best player in the playoffs so far for the B's.
He has had two game winning goals, including a double OT winner against the Sabres in Game Four which helped give the Bruins a 3-1 series lead. He also scored the series clinching goal in Game Six.
He leads all Bruins in points in the playoffs with nine including being tied for the lead in goals with four. Satan, who is 35 and was thought to be on the downward end of his career, has shown everyone that he is not done yet and still has some of that magic left.
If he keeps it up he may just have the Bruins dancing all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.