Bases Covered: Boston Bruins Well Rounded Through November

Max SullivanCorrespondent INovember 22, 2008

If you’re already calling the Bruins the best team in the East, you’re getting a little ahead of yourself. The season is far too young for any homer to make that kind of presumption. However, the Bruins are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with New York, and here’s why:

Offensive Opportunists:

Success comes not only from talent, but from seizing opportunity. Everybody is contributing. Marc Savard is tied at second for most points in the league with 27. Kessel, Sturm, Wheeler and Lucic have all been scoring consistently.

The return of Chuck Kobasew has added even more force to the offense. He’s posted 9 points in his eight games back on the ice, including three goals. He’s a natural scorer, and his performance will enhance the Bruins’ offense if he continues to play well.

Goal Is Secure:

No one in Boston had any idea how the goalie situation would work out this season. Many still had doubts about Thomas’ stamina through a full hockey season, while Manny Fernandez was still in every Bruins fan’s nightmares.

After two months of hockey, the Bruins’ goalies are both performing beyond what anyone expected. With a combined 2.06 GAA, the two goalies show no sign of slowing down.

As far as competition goes, Coach Claude Julien has made it clear that they will use both goalies. Thomas will be the main guy, but he’ll be getting a lot of support from veteran Fernandez. The system has been working. The Bruins have had a lot less to worry about in their own zone.

Penalty Kill:

It started off as a train wreck in October, but the Bruins’ penalty kill has turned into an incredible display of game control. The Bruins have been impenetrable when defending the power play. Bruins' defenders are making quick plays to get the puck out of the zone.

Defenseman Dennis Wideman has been a great contributor on defense all year with a +11 rating, for which he is tied for sixth in the league. He’s even gotten a goal on the short hand.

Chara has been aggressive on defense all year and Lucic leads the league with 75 hits. Right now, the Bruins PK % is 82.6%, 12th in the league, and it will likely increase as the Bruins continue to stop the power play.

The B’s have had the pieces all along. Now they've been put together. The youth on this team shows promise. Good years are sure to come. Boston hasn’t proven that they are the best, but clamping down on the Northeast division in November is impressive.

Let alone tying for first place with New York in the conference.

Nothing is set in stone, but there is hope for Boston.