With a record of 5-2-3 and 13 points through their first ten games, the Bruins are currently IN THE CURVE and cannot be called IN or OUT of the playoffs at this time. PLUS: The B's current PQC rating of 6.5 is +1.7 better than their post-Lockout average for the first ten games of the season, so they're clearly off to a good start. The Bruins' PP (8th in the NHL - 20.5%) has helped, as has their 2.40 Goals Against average (9th in the NHL)...With 5G, 8A in ten games, Savard is the B's leading scorer...Lucic, Kessel and Ryder all tied for 2nd in team scoring with 7 points each...Thomas with 1.95 GAA, .939 Sv%, back-to-back shutouts in Games 9 & 10...Wideman top scoring B's D-man, with 2G,3A. MINUS: Last season, BOS had the 28th-ranked PK in the NHL (78.6%). Through ten games in 08/09, the Bruins' PK is ranked 29th in the NHL (73.2%). Also in 07-08, BOS allowed an average of 30.5 shots/game, good for 22nd in the NHL. The B's have picked up right where they left off, allowing 30.5 shots/game in 08-09 (18th in the NHL)...0G, 3A, -3 for Chara...Overall, a good start for BOS, but they must fix their broken PK in order to climb in the standings.
In the next 10 games, the Bruins will face a serious test. Post-Lockout, the B's have improved by an average of +.83 against the PQC during Games 11-20. This season, however, they will be playing the majority of the next ten games against some of the top teams in the league: CGY, BUF (2x), MTL, and NYR. In addition, the Bruins face an up-and-down DAL team, who could play on any given night like last season's Western Conference runners-up or this season's chumps, as well as a CHI club that stumbled out of the gate, but is playing with new-found intensity under a new head coach. Boston will also have TWO opportunities to redeem themselves against a TOR team that stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the B's, 4-2, on home ice. Two factors which should work in Boston's favor during Games 11-20 are that they play 6 of 10 at home and have only one back-to-back set during that timeframe. With that in mind, look for the Bruins to play along, or slightly above, the Playoff Qualifying Curve through the next ten games, but don't expect OGA to call them IN the playoffs before Games 21-30...unless the PK improves and the B's get more scoring from their D-men.