The temperature is slowly dropping, arenas are filled with ecstatic and joyful fans, chipping of ice is heard, and sonorously loud chants strike the air as the NHL is back in full tilt.
The 2013-14 season has already begun, and the Boston Bruins have tackled a few divisional games to start off. The season brought a realignment of divisions within the Eastern and Western Conferences. The Eastern Conference features the Atlantic Division, consisting of the Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Two games in, and the Bruins have already tallied two wins to the Atlantic Division. 28 more divisional games lie ahead for the team as they endure a full season of 82 games, unlike the half season last year.
After a tough loss in the Stanley Cup finals last season, the Bruins have demonstrated their desire to return for another try at the Cup this year. Although the division offers extremely challenging opponents, Boston has a great shot at winning the Atlantic.
I predict the Bruins record within the Atlantic Division will be 23-4-3 (wins-losses-overtime losses). I believe the five losses will come to the hands of the Maple Leafs, Red Wings, and Canadiens. The Red Wings will collect two wins, as the Maple Leafs and Canadiens steal one regulation win. As for the three overtime losses, The Senators and Sabres will have a hand in that. The Sabres will sneak away an overtime win, while the Senators snatch two. The Red Wings and Senators will be the largest obstacles the Bruins face on their quest for first place in the Atlantic. It is encouraging for Bruins fans to see their team top Detroit in the teams’ first meeting of the year, a 4-1 win.
On offense and defense, the Bruins are by far the strongest team in the division. Manning the offense is assistant captain Patrice Bergeron and alternate captains Chris Kelly and David Krejci. The offense is known for their great defensive ability, which comes in handy when battling in front of goalie Tuukka Rask.
Moving back to the defense, the forces in between blue lines are phenomenal and unbreakable. Captain Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, and Torey Krug almost make it impossible to pepper shots at Rask. Also, the defense has a strong offensive skill and mindset that has helped the team score multiple goals.
There is no doubt that the Bruins will come out on top of the Atlantic Division this season. The manpower, backboned by one of the NHL’s most talented goalies in Rask, will catapult them into first place.
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