Normally around this time of year, the Boston Bruins are looking around the NHL at teams enjoying their holiday season. Typically, they're not one of them.
However, this year is different.
The class of the NHL resides in Boston. The heart of the NHL wears black and gold and the road to the Eastern Conference Finals goes through Beantown.
Why is it any different than previous Bruin teams? One word, kinda science like...chemistry.
Chemistry with very good players is what makes this 2008-2009 Boston Bruins club the team to beat, not great stars, All-Stars, or any other individual standout. In year's past, it's been Joe Thornton, Jeff Allison, Anson Carter (not so much), and so forth, even going back to Cam Neely. However, those Bruins teams did not have a core, and around it, the willingness to self-sacrifice for the team's overall play.
You may say that there are other teams that would defeat the Bruins based off their pure skill level and talent. But, this is not so.
You (the hockey fan) may name the best five teams in the NHL this year. Most likely, if your a true fan, with the knowledge and know-how to call yourself a fan of NHL hockey, then you would have the San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, and Detroit Red Wings in your top five for sure, in whatever order they may be in.
Aside from those three teams, it's not really pertinent for my argument. The other two teams I mentioned in the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings are both very good teams in their own right. The Bruins have already handily defeated Detroit, and with an upcoming showdown with the Sharks after the All-Star break, the B's seemed primed for a shot at Lord Stanley's Cup this year.