I think the Bruins are the best team in hockey.
Yea. I said it.
The Boston Bruins are the best team in the NHL.
Now before you start heckling me and throwing rotten tomatoes and heads of iceberg lettuce, just hear me out for second.
I know that I may be slightly biased here when it comes to the Bruins but as a “hockey writer”, I do have the ability to look at this with some measure of objectivity.
So how do I dare make such a bold statement? Let’s look at the facts…
- They have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL.
- I DEFY to name another goalie super duo better that Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. They are straight up domination. Rask is #2 in GAA (1.82). Thomas is #3 (1.84). Thomas is #2 in Save % (.943). Rask is #3 (.939). Thomas is #2 in wins (16) and in a 3-way tie for 1st in shutouts (4). By having two stellar goalies, the Bruins have a distinct advantage through the regular season because you can rest Thomas and give him a night off while still preserving your chance to win even with Rask in the net. There is not that ‘Oh crap” moment with the backup comes in. With the B’s, even the backup is pretty outstanding. Also, Rask is only 24 years old so just think about what he’ll be like in three years. Thomas is the present. Rask is the future.
- They are as deep as the ocean is wide.
- Although Chris Kelly does look like he reads “The Economist” and you know Andrew Ference watches documentaries on the National Geographic Channel, I’m not talking about an intellectual depth. I’m talking about the We-Have-Four-Lines-That-Can-Light-It-Up sort of depth. Every single line of the Bruins offense can score goals. Yes, even the Mucking & Grinding 4th line led by Shawn Thornton. Hell, even the much maligned Benoit Pouliot is scoring goals (he’s got 6). 1st line not producing? It’s cool. We’ll come at you with the 2nd and 3rd lines. Coach Claude has a plethora of talent from which he can craft his lines. He has young talent like Jordan Caron and Zach Hamill that he can call up from Providence at a moment’s notice who can slip into the Bruins’ lineup without missing a beat.
- They are low-profile.
- While the Bruins are an upper echelon NHL team, no one really cares about them. They aren’t the object of rampant fan-girling (or boying). They’ll leave that to Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. They aren’t gracing the pages of GQ (although they certainly could). They don’t have a flashy coach or super star face-of-the-NHL type player (Chara might come close but if you ask me, Patrice Bergeron deserves to be up there). They are just a straight up, solid hockey club who win hockey games with skill, speed, and quiet tenacity. And an occasional pugilistic endeavor.
I know that we are only a little over a third of the way through the season, but I don’t think that I’m alone in my thinking that the Bruins have the potential to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. Now I know it is nigh impossible to repeat and maybe I just jinxed myself and I know it hasn’t been done since the Red Wings did it in the 1997-98 season, but I’m holding out this little sliver of hope that it could happen.
And why shouldn’t it? If you get a chance, just watch them play a few games. Instead of turning on the Pens, or the Caps, or the Hawks game, turn on the Bruins.
I guarantee you’ll like the hockey you see.