CALGARY, AB — When the Boston Bruins made some big splashes at the 2015 NHL Draft back in June, people started to write them off.
They traded up-and-coming defenceman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames for a first round and two second round picks and then turned around and sent Milan Lucic to the LA Kings for goaltender Martin Jones, whom they later flipped to the San Jose Sharks for a first round pick.
Even with all of the turnover, the Bruins have found a way to win games in the early going this season currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division, only three points behind rival Montreal Canadians.
A big part of their success has been their power play success. The special teams unit has been phenomenal this season, scoring on 31.4 percent of their chances. That is just under five percent better than the leagues second best power play unit.
Coming to Calgary in the midst of a three-game Western road swing, they are trying to stick to their game.
“We’ve got to play our game,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “I’m not adjusting to any team. I want teams to adjust to us. We just have to play our game and respect what the other team has. When we play our game, it doesn’t matter what other teams do, we feel we’ve got all the bases covered. We just have to play our game.”
On Wednesday, the Bruins dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Edmonton Oilers. That was their first loss in their previous six games and salvaging a point out of the contest means they will put their point streak on the line when they take the ice at the ‘Dome on Friday.
2015 vs. the Flames: 0-0-0
All-Time vs. the Flames: 56-32-2
Vs. the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome: 24-20-1
Notable Injuries: F David Pastrnak, F Chris Kelly
Who’s HOT: David Krejci
In the 2014-15 season, Krejci played in only 47 games due to a partial tear of his MCL. Back healthy, he is ripping it up, leading all Bruins with 25 points (9g, 16a). At his current pace, Krejci would score a healthy 89 points, which is 16 more than his career high. As the quarterback on the Bruins power play, Krejci has racked up nine points - one more than his total last season in just under half of the games played.
Honourable Mention: Loui Eriksson
The big piece acquired from the Dallas Stars as part of the Tyler Seguin trade two years ago, Eriksson did not live up to expectations in his first two tours of duty with the Bruins. This year, however, he is showing the same form as he had when he registered 70+ points in three straight years with the Stars. In 23 games, he has tallied 21 points, which puts him third on the team in scoring.
Who’s NOT: Matt Belesky
When the Bruins signed Belesky to a multi-year contract in the off-season, they were hoping that the big left-winger would provide a scoring touch, much like he did in Anaheim. Unfortunately, the Windsor, ON, native has only found the back of the net twice in 21 games this season. He may have 10 points on the year - putting him on pace to surpass last years’ total with 39 - but his inability to light the lamp is why he is a NOT right now.