We've seen this kind of story unfold before.
The Boston Bruins are streaking, and have done so in impressive style. Back on December 6 when the Bruins point streak was brought to a sudden halt, every Bruins said that starting a new one was their next goal, and they said it with a confidence that did not wane.
While they haven't gone undefeated this month, they have recorded some impressive numbers that any team would kill to have, including tonight's 8-0 pummeling of the Florida Panthers. With four goals in the first period alone, the Bruins increased their scoring margin by quite a bit, and have now outscored their opponents in the last six games, 30-7.They also boast a six-game winning streak.
And Brad Marchand has created a little bit of his own history. He has nine points in his last six games, including six goals. Three of those goals came tonight, marking the first hat trick of his NHL career. He added two assists, and was all smiles going back to the locker room, noting how an item off his Christmas list was just scratched out.
"I never even thought I would ever get one of those [hat tricks] in this league," Marchand said. "But it’s definitely up there."
Not only that, but since the beginning of November, the B's have an impressive 20-2-1 record and now sit on top of the Eastern Conference. As Claude Julien mentioned in the press conference, there is something to be said about the confidence level in the locker room, and his team needed to tap into the talent and knowledge they already had in order to showcase it in games.
"I think our guys have grown so much maturity wise at being able to handle success," Julien said. "I don't know if I could stand here and honestly tell you that we would lose two games in two months in regulation, but the one thing we knew, we would at one point hit a hangover and struggle. We didn't know if it was going to be at the beginning or if we were going to have a great start and struggle in the second month, but we were ready for it. But being ready for it just allowed us not to panic and work our way trough it and that's why the first month instead of yelling and panicking, we just worked out way through it."
That was very evident tonight when each of the four lines scored, and even Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg hit the back of the net for the first time this season. While he isn't known for having an offensive prowess, for him, getting that goal was helpful in taking pressure off himself.
"[It was] a big relief," Seidenberg said. "I mean I tried a lot of shots up until now and to have that shot finally go in was a good feeling. And I finally got that monkey off my back."
Also scoring for the Bruins were Benoit Pouliot who shoveled a nifty goal through his legs and past Jose Theodore for his third goal in three games. Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron also lit the lamp.
Meanwhile Tuukka Rask recorded 30 saves, and extended his shutout streak to 155:10 for his second shutout of the season. This is his second consecutive start with a shutout and the first time that's happened in his career.
The Bruins will take a short three day break for the holidays and will return to practice after that. They travel to Phoenix next on December 28, where they will hope to carry a little bit of the holiday magic over to the west coast.
"I think the big thing now for our team is we have to get rested and our coach and management have done a great job of doing stuff to make sure we do that," Marchand said. "We had a long year last year and it’s been a hectic year this year so, some time off to rest and recuperate is big for us and that’s what we’re going to do."