With the pathetic way that their 2015-16 regular season started just a few weeks back – with three blowout losses at TD Garden – it is rather remarkable how quickly the Bruins (6-3-1) have turned things around. Boston beat Tampa Bay (5-5-2) 3-1 on Halloween at Amalie Arena, giving it road wins in back-to-back nights (the B’s beat Florida 3-1 on Friday at BB&T Center) and also avenging a 6-3 Lightning victory at the Garden on Columbus Day. The Bruins now have the best road record in the NHL (5-0-0) and the team has picked up points in its last seven contests (6-0-1).
The easiest way to explain Boston’s hot streak is that it has allowed three goals or less in all of its wins. A club (still) coached by Claude Julien getting better on defense is entirely predictable. But what has been surprising for the B’s is how productive their offense has been. They have scored the second-most goals in the Eastern Conference (39), six behind Montreal – which has played two more games. During this impressive stretch, the B’s have scored three or more goals each time including outputs of six (twice), five (twice) and four (once). The craziest stat for the B’s is that their power-play is by far the best in the league, clicking at an outrageous 35.3 percent. It’s doubtful that their offense will be so dynamic all season long but it’s still a good sign that they at least have this potential.
As much as anyone, Julien has to appreciate how well that his team has played given how shaky his job security was at the start of October.
“I really feel good about this win for different reasons,” he said after the latest Tampa Bay game. “It was our first test of back-to-backs, against a team that was waiting for us to be here and a team that’s a good hockey club. We just seemed to keep getting better all the time and I thought our forecheck, our determination, our battles and everything seemed to be there.”
The Bruins host the Stars (9-2-0) – the top team in the Western Conference – on Tuesday (7 p.m., NESN) before heading back on the road to play three other strong Eastern Conference foes to finish this week: at Capitals (8-2-0) on Thursday, at Canadiens (10-2-0) on Saturday and at Islanders (6-2-3) on Sunday.