Almost a month into the regular season, the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference is more crowded than the New York City Subway at rush hour. Only four points or three won games separate the first-place team from the one in sixth. Among the top six, one game can determine which goes second or third, or even first.
Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron holds up the NHL Stanley Cup as he rides with teammates on Duck Boats around Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox host the Milwaukee Brewers in their MLB inter-league baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts June 19, 2011. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years on June 15 when they beat the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh and deciding game of the National Hockey League championship
Thursday's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins is one such game. The Penguins are tied for second with the Tampa Bay Lightning with an 8-4 record, while the Boston Bruins (7-3) are currently in fourth, one game behind the third-place Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins need the win to keep pace with the leading Toronto Maple Leafs. A win will catapult them to 8-4, pulling them to a share of second, at least until Oct 1 when they meet the Anaheim Ducks at home. For the Penguins, a loss will pull them down to 8-5 and a share of third place until Nov 1.
For Boston, the game is not so much about putting the puck in the net; it's more about keeping their opponents from doing so. They are an average team in terms of goals scored with 30, but they are the top defensive team in the conference, allowing just 17 goals up to Oct 26. They need to spread the offense more, though, as the bulk of the offense is concentrated among just 11 skaters.
The Pirates have done a better job of getting everyone involved, as 15 players have been able to score. Of the 15, 8 have scored two goals or more, including 2005 first overall pick Sidney Crosby, who, with his eight goals and 12 assists, is on track for a repeat of his 2010 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy season. He also leads the Penguins in assists, not a bad achievement so far considering that five skaters have at least seven assists for the month.
The inclusion of any link/s shall be purely for informational purposes, gathered from sources made available on the Internet; such act shall not be meant to aid or abet, impliedly or otherwise, the act/s of any Web site/s cited.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Richest Americans [PHOTOS]
- Is Orlando Bloom’s Wife, Miranda Kerr Singing Love Songs for James Packer? [WATCH VIDEOS]
- 'Jelena' Romance: Selena Gomez Shares her Most Shocking Date with Justin Bieber Involving $3M- Diamond [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
- Watch Out, Robert Pattinson! Kellan Lutz Reveals He Turned Down The Role Of ‘Twilight’ Lead Edward Cullen [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]