The Boston Bruins pushed their current winning streak to six games on Saturday afternoon with a 7-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, keeping pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy and continuing to show why they should be considered one of the leading favorites to win the Stanley Cup as we head into the stretch run.
What makes this winning streak so impressive is the fact that all six games have come without the services of their best all-around player, do-everything center Patrice Bergeron.
Oh, and just for good measure, they have also been without a top-pairing defenseman in Charlie McAvoy in four of those games.
There are not many teams that could lose two players like that and not only go on a six-game winning streak, but do it in the manner in which the Bruins have done it.
It’s not just that the Bruins are winning without two of their top players — they are still dominating.
Just look at some of the numbers they have put up during this streak.
They have scored 30 goals overall and had three games where they have scored at least six.
They are averaging 37.8 shots on goal per game.
They have 11 different players that have recorded at least four points during the streak, including seven that have had at least six.
They have five different players, including trade deadline acquisition Rick Nash, that have at least three goals.
Brad Marchand is showing that he is not just a creating of playing on a line with Bergeron and has put the offense on his back with six goals and five assists during the streak.
Granted, the schedule over this winning streak hasn’t exactly been a daunting one as every game has been at home and with only two of them coming against playoff teams (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), but they still won both of them.
One of them (the Pittsburgh game) very convincingly.
The schedule does get a little tougher the rest of the way as 11 of their final 16 games are on the road.
Still, the fact they are doing all of that against any NHL teams without Bergeron and McAvoy should be pretty scary for the rest of the Eastern Conference. This isn’t just a one-line team.
Keep in mind the Bruins started the year winning only six of their first 17 games.
Since then they have gone 37-8-4 and are looking like a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.