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Final

3 Things the Bruins Should Be Thankful For

NBC Sports

Boston Bruins fans have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. The team is off to one of the best starts in team history. The Bruins have been as hot as any team in the history of the NHL. Boston is 17-3 and in first place in the Atlantic Division. But their new style of play is just as pleasing to fans. The Bruins are playing entertaining hockey at a level offensively to which fans have not been accustomed. There is hockey fever in Boston this American Thanksgiving, and the expectations are as high as they have ever been. Here are three things for which the Bruins and their fans are especially thankful.

The return of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci

These two veterans centers are among the best in Bruins’ history. Bergeron decided to return for another year and has shown that the captain has not lost much of a step with 9 goals and 9 assists in 20 games. The five-time Selke Award winner is still one of the top two-way centers in the game with a plus-11 rating, and at the face-off dot, the 37-year-old is winning over 61 percent of his draws while playing his typical 18 minutes per game of ice time.

Krejci returned after playing a year in his native Czechia to re-claim his second-line center role. The return of the 36-year-old has given the Bruins some much-needed center depth and helped Boston improve a floundering power play. Krejci has 6 goals and 9 assists in 15 games and is shooting a remarkable 28.6 percent on the season. The only thing Boston would like more of from the former second-round pick is more shots on goal.

A more effective bottom-six forward group

In the last couple of seasons, the Bruins have stumbled in the playoffs, and some of that struggle was due to a lack of production from the third and fourth lines. This season has been a different story in the early going. Pavel Zacha, Nick Foligno, and Charlie Coyle have combined for 32 points in 20 games, and the Bruins have received contributions from AJ Greer and Trent Frederic (3 goals each). Tomas Nosek broke a 65-game scoring drought and has been a tremendous penalty killer. This type of depth makes Boston a serious contender to win their first Stanley Cup in 12 years.

New Head Coach Jim Montgomery

I will start by admitting that I am a Bruce Cassidy supporter. The former Bruins coach led the team to the playoffs in all six seasons at the helm. Whether the team growing tired of his style was a cause for the Bruins to fade in recent years in the playoffs has been debated ad nauseum. However, the Bruins’ hot start might indicate that a new voice was needed, and Montgomery has helped kick-start the team. Not only has Montgomery’s aggressive, offensive philosophy helped defensemen like Hampus Lindholm and Connor Clifton show off their offensive skill, but the entire team seems to love playing a more open concept. Whatever Montgomery has used to motivate the team appears to be working. The former University of Maine star is more of a players’ coach, and these players have really responded.

The Bruins have created quite a buzz across the region and are heading into 2023 shortly with a real chance to win the division and advance deep into the playoffs. Bruins fans can be thankful and enjoy the ride.

Season 2. Episode 18. Battling Adversity Bruins Benders Podcast

The Bruins rebound after a 3-game skid. NHL ratings are down on ESPN and Turner. Don’t mess with the chemistry. Concerns about the Bruins veterans wearing down. Plus Beauties and Benders. 
  1. Season 2. Episode 18. Battling Adversity
  2. Season 2. Episode 17. Renewing The Rivalry
  3. Season 2. Episode 16. Hot Mic
  4. Season 2. Episode 15. West Coast Weekend
  5. Season 2. Episode 14. The Winter Classic

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