The Providence Bruins have been making strides all season long when it comes to defensive play. Through the early months of the season, namely October and November, it was obvious that the defensive core needed some work. However, it seems as though the team has come around full circle and is finally embracing how they need to play in order to win games.
As of late the Bruins have showed that they are more confident with their defensive play in their close, low-scoring games and, though rare, few blowout wins. Another plus, balanced scoring from the majority of the team. Their home and away records are almost identical, showcasing that balanced play.
As Thomas Chace Jr. of Providence Bruins Insider stated:
Rookies have played a significant role in the Bruins season, none more than Russian Alexander Khokhlachev. Second among rookies in scoring with 56 points in 61 games, he, along with line mates Justin Florek and Seth Griffith, has become a force on offense. Providence presently has three 20 goal scorers in Khokhlachev, Griffith, and Craig Cunningham. On the verge of hitting 20 goals is Florek with 19, Matt Fraser with 18, and Nick Johnson with 17 tallies.
Of course with great defending comes great netminding. Currently Niklas Svedberg leads the AHL with 7 shutouts and Malcolm Subban has rightfully proved he belongs as Providence’s back up tender despite having a shaky start in his first pro season.
The boost in confidence is exactly what the Bruins need heading into tonight’s game that will seemingly make or break their Calder Cup playoff run. The Bruins currently sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 89 points, one point above the Norfolk Admirals and three points ahead of the Hershey Bears, each battling for the Wild Card spot. With two games remaining, the Bruins need to give tonight’s meeting against the Monarchs everything they have. There should be no question that the Dunk will be roaring tonight as they look to secure their playoff spot and wipe the slate clean of the 82-game regular season. The puck drops at 7:05PM, be sure to stay up-to-date with the official Twitter handle of the team if you’re unable to attend or listen to the game! Let’s go Bruins!