The Bruins endured a three-game road trip last week, with games against the Avalanche, Coyotes and Golden Knights. They ended the week with a 2-1 record and now sit with the NHL’s best overall record at 22-4-1, and lead the Presidents’ Trophy race with 45 points.
Boston started the road trip out in Colorado. This was the second meeting in two weeks between the Avalanche and the Bruins, and the second game ended very much like the first with a dominant Boston win. Linus Ullmark was the story as he returned to the net after a two-game rest and stopped all 23 shots he faced for the shutout win. Ullmark now leads the league in GAA and save percentage among all goalies with 10 or more starts on the season. Boston also got another three-point effort from winger Taylor Hall, who moved into second on the team this week in goals scored on the season.
The Bruins stayed on the road and met the Coyotes in Arizona in their second game of the week. This was a clear letdown spot for the Bruins, who were coming off their win against the defending Stanley Cup champions and also had the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights on the schedule to look forward to later in the week. The Bruins didn’t play poorly as they allowed just 16 shots for the game. Unfortunately, goalie Jeremy Swayman had a bit of an off night and allowed four goals, suffering his first loss in three starts. In terms of where these two teams were at in the standings prior to this game, this was one of the biggest upsets we’ve seen in the entire league this season. On the positive side, Boston got yet another goal from David Pastrnak, who saw his total for the season rise to 19 at the end of this week.
The Bruins ended their week with a visit to Las Vegas to take on the Golden Knights. Vegas ended the Bruins’ home winning streak with a 4-3 shootout win when these teams played each other earlier in the season. The Bruins had Linus Ullmark back in net starting this game (a luxury they didn’t have in the first meeting) and Ullmark was again brilliant, stopping 30 of 31 shots. Ullmark has now stopped 53 of the last 54 shots he’s faced and is one of the leading contenders for the Vezina Trophy through the quarter mark of the NHL season.
Overall, the Bruins had a very solid week, as they went 2-1 on a three-game road trip and beat two top Western Conference teams in Colorado and Las Vegas. The loss to Phoenix will sting a bit given the massive talent gap between those two squads, but the satisfaction of getting some revenge on the Golden Knights and former head coach Bruce Cassidy will likely do a lot for the team’s morale going forward.
The Bruins have a busy week ahead, but will be at home for four straight games and have almost no major injury concerns at the moment. Whether you’re in season-long leagues or playing daily fantasy NHL on DraftKings, this will be a week to pay close attention to the Bruins’ top skaters for fantasy purposes.
Top Goal Scorer (Season): David Pastrňák, 19 goals (Taylor Hall is second with 11 goals)
Top Point Getter (Season): David Pastrňák, 38 pts (Patrice Bergeron is second with 22 pts)
Top Goalie (Season): Linus Ullmark - 16-1 (2 SO), 1.77 GAA and .941 save%
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of December 13:
- Tuesday, December 13 vs. New York Islanders
- Thursday, December 15 vs. Los Angeles Kings
- Saturday, December 17 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
- Monday, December 19 vs. Florida Panthers
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury update: David Krejci (day-to-day)
Tuesday, December 13 vs. New York Islanders
The Islanders are 17-12 on the season and carry a +12 goal differential.
- The Islanders are still in the thick of the playoff race but are just 2-4 over their last six starts.
- Assuming we get a Linus Ullmark vs. Ilya Sorokin battle in net, this will be a matchup between two of the top goalies in the league.
- The Islanders have improved their offense this season but still rank well behind Boston in terms of goals per game (Boston leads the league at 3.9 per game).
- Both teams rank in the top 10 in penalty-kill efficiency, so expect a close and lower-scoring affair.
Thursday, December 15 vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are 15-11-5 on the season and carry a -6 goal differential.
- This game has the potential for a lot of goals. The Kings have allowed the sixth most goals per game this season, and the sixth most high-danger scoring chances as well.
- Four of the Kings’ last seven opponents have scored four or more goals.
- This will be a great spot to deploy the Bruins’ top forwards for fantasy purposes as the Kings allow a ton of quality chances every game and will be on the back end of a two-game road trip out East — having played the Sabres on Tuesday.
Saturday, December 17 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are 10-15-2 on the season and carry a -31 goal differential.
- The Blue Jackets currently occupy last place in the Metropolitan Division, and the entire Eastern Conference, with just 22 points as a team on the season.
- The Blue Jackets won a 6-5 shootout in their last game against the Kings prior to this week and will be a fantastic opponent for the Bruins’ top forwards in fantasy.
- The Blue Jackets allow the second most shots and goals per game, and their -31 goal differential is the fourth worst in the league to date.
Monday, December 19 vs. Florida Panthers
The Panthers are 13-12-4 on the season and carry an even goal differential.
- The Bruins will take on the Panthers for the second time this season. The first meeting between these two teams was also in Boston with the Bruins winning 5-3.
- The Panthers continue to be one of the top offenses in the league, as they are 10th in goals scored per game and attempt the most shots on net per game at 37.8.
- Defensively, the Panthers are not the team they were last season as they have allowed the 12th most goals per game and have a below-average penalty kill.
- This is another good spot for the Bruins’ top forwards to rack up some stats and we should expect another higher-scoring affair between these two teams, given that both of these offenses rank in the top 10 of the league in most offensive categories.
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