The 2019-20 NHL season is offering up its usual mix of thrills and spills to eager fans. With plenty of big hitting action and fabulous games already, fans are starting to really see which teams are looking likely for that Stanley Cup crown come season’s end. It’s not only on the ice where hockey has caught the eye of many this season. Sports betting is now allowed on games in many states due to recent changes in. U.S. legislation, allowing hockey fans the opportunity to now bet at online sportsbooks to back their favorite team. Better yet, some sportsbooks even give fans free bonus money to bet with – for example, people using the Unibet online casino bonus code can certainly look forward to this.
Of course, there are lots of popular teams in the NHL to follow, both in Canada and the United States, from the LA Kings to the Toronto Maple Leafs. At the moment, though, one team many people are interested in is the Boston Bruins. Most will remember the tremendous 2018-19 season they enjoyed, which saw them make the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2013. This left expectations high heading into this season. Have the team lived up to them so far?
Riding high in the Atlantic division
When you look at the current standings, the answer would have to be yes. Any fears that a Stanley Cup Final hangover could ruin this season look unfounded at present. After 21 games played, the Bruins were in the top spot of the Atlantic Division with 13 wins, 3 standard losses and 5 overtime losses. They do have the Panthers and Canadians chasing them pretty hard but at the moment, they look to be doing well enough when you consider what people expected from them.
A 2-1 win on the opening game against Dallas set them off on the right track and things have gone pretty smoothly since then. This included revenge against St Louis with a 3-0 win at the end of October and a 5-1 win against New Jersey in the last game on 19th November. All this has set them up perfectly to make another charge for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
What is going right so far for Boston?
One of the things really helping Boston so far is the form of their star players. This can be seen in how left winger Brad Marchand and right winger David Pastrnak are playing. Pastrnak has 17 goals and 15 assists from 20 games while Marchand has 13 goals and 19 assists from the same amount of games. This goalscoring power and creativity has helped Boston to claim points this year and give other teams something to really think about. What is pleasing is that this is a continuation from last year when both players topped the charts at the Bruins for goals, assists and player points.
Tuukka Rask is another bright spot for the Bruins again this year, helping them stay tight defensively with only 54 goals conceded. This will not surprise avid hockey fans who will know just what a great goalie this flying Finn is. With a firing offense and tight defense, the Bruins currently have the perfect formula.
Superb leadership on and off the ice
Boston have also benefited this season from great leadership in all areas. On the ice, veterans like Marchand, Rask and Patrice Bergeron are doing an awesome job at helping the younger players develop and win games. Additionally, the presence of Head Coach Bruce Cassidy back behind the bench again this season has given Boston real stability, further helping them continually perform at a high level.
Where could they improve?
As with any professional team in sports, there is always room for improvement. For Boston, there was a feeling that they relied too much on powerplays to overwhelm teams last year and needed to improve their 5-on-5 offense. While it is a little early in the season to say whether any true improvement has been made, it is one area that needs to be in better shape for any play-off or finals games. The other major worry for any Bruins fans is how reliant they are on a select few players for goals and assists. If injury were to strike Marchand or Pastrnak, then they could struggle to find people to fill their boots.
2019/20 going well so far for Boston
After making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, many were eager to see if the Bruins could show the same form again in 2019-20. The way they have started certainly seems to suggest they can and bodes well for the rest of their year. If their key players can stay fit and in form then it could be another great season in Boston.