By Ryan Hannable
At times this season the Bruins have played like they are the best team in the Eastern Conference, but then at times they have played like one of the worst teams in the league. The team has been extremely inconsistent this season, and that is the thing that is keeping them from being considered one of the elite teams in the league.
Since Dec. 11 the Bruins have had a three game winning streak, and then after tonight they have won two in a row. But, they have also had a three game losing streak, and another streak losing three out of four. That is enough up and downs to last an entire half of a season, but the Bruins did that in about a months span.
Through all the ups and downs the media has called out the captain Zdano Chara and well as the coach Claude Julian. Some have said that Chara has not been the leader that the captain should be. The fact of the matter is that Chara is not a vocal leader, he leads by example. It cannot be expected for Chara to be the vocal leader some expect from the captain. The same media members have called out Julian saying he does not get the most from his players and can not fire the team up when they need it. He is not that kind of coach, he is a players coach. He is not one to go off on his team, that just isn't his style. These media members are trying to make Chara and Julian into a captain and a coach that they are not.
Milan Lucic has been inconsistent just like the rest of the team, but he still leads the team in goals with 16, and is second points with 28. Some have said he needs to be more physical though Patrice Bergeron leads the team in points with 29. Nathan Horton has made a positive impact in his first season as a Bruin. He is second in goals with 12, and third in points. The Bruins will need all three of these players to be on top of their game in the second half of the years and the playoffs in order for the team to repeat last years deep playoff run.
Goaltending has not really been an issue for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas have both seen time between the pipes, but Thomas has seen the most time and he has responded by playing outstanding. He has an 18-4 record, with a 1.84 GAA. Goaltending is not really the issue with this team, with Rask and Thomas each gives the team a solid chance of winning each time they take the ice. They can only hope to get the same consistency from the other positions in the second half of the season.
I will be posting a weekly Bruins column appearing here every week. Feel free to send me any questions/comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comment section. Follow me on twitter at Hannable84