The Bear Has Awoken From Its Slumber and Is on The Hunt Again

Ryan PickardCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

BOSTON - NOVEMBER 07:  Mark Recchi #28 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by teammates Zdeno Chara #33, Patrice Bergeron #37 and Derek Morris #53 in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres on November 7, 2009 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins just played arguably their best game of the season defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. In a game that was filled with excitement and fights the Bruins showed why they finished first in the Eastern Conference last year and why they are a team that should still be feared come playoff time.

Through the first 16 games of the year it looked as though the Bruins had either come out of hibernation not getting enough rest or deciding to just not come out of it at all. They were just 6-7-2 and had the worst pp in the league. It also seemed as though they had lost their edge that they played with all of last year.

It used to be that teams feared to come into the TD Banknorth Garden now the TD Garden because of the skill the Bruins had combined with their toughness. They could score goals and then drop the gloves. The B's went 26-6-6 at  home last year finishing off one of their best home records in history.

This year they were just 4-4-2 including losing to the Capitals 1-4 and the Anaheim Ducks 1-6. They were getting outplayed on both sides of the puck more so on the offensive side.

Then they were hit with the injury bug early and hard. The Bruins lost Marc Savard and Milan Lucic. Savard the Bruins best play-maker was lost to a broken foot and is expected to be out for at least another four weeks and Milan Lucic will be out until November 17. This was the one thing they were able to avoid last year which helped them to their great record.

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The injuries have showed greatly so far as the pp has suffered since Savard has been out. The Bruins were sitting in dead last on the pp and then they woke up and scored goals on their first two pp's of the game tonight.

The Bruins also lost their toughness it seemed with Lucic out. Last year Lucic was the go to guy to get the crowd going with a big hit. They still had Shawn Thornton and Zdeno Chara in the lineup but the big time hitting just wasn't there until tonight. There were three fights in the game including one where the B's showed they had their backs for each other. After Jochen Hecht got a little too close to Tuukka Rask the B's responded by getting right in his face and eventually giving him a few reasons why you don't get too close to the B's goalies.

This game reminded me a lot of the Bruins game last year vs. the Dallas Stars. The Bruins were struggling to get going and needed a spark and they found one during this game. After some cheapshots from some of the Stars players the B's responded by putting points on the scoreboard and then getting some shots in of their own against most notably Sean Avery and Steve Ott.

After that game the Bruins went on a run finishing 11-2 in November and 12-1 in December. The run shot them to the top of the Eastern Conference and they didn't relinquish that spot for the rest of the year.

If this game was of any indication of what's to come for the rest of the season then the rest of the Northeast Division teams should be on alert. The Bruins have awoken and are on the hunt.