Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Crossing the NHL's Atlantic Division: Week 11 (Part 1)

Greetings, Internet traveller! You’re just in time to join us on a sporadic journey through central and eastern North America (nobody said this was going to be an energy-efficient journey). We’ve enlisted the help of local tour guides for every stop, equipped with all the information you need to know about what’s new and exciting in every area of our trip. So without further ado, let’s fire up those engines and fasten your seatbelts…we’re going for a ride.

NOTE: Some of these pieces were submitted on Friday, others on Saturday. Therefore, Friday’s and yesterday’s games are not reflected upon in these summaries.

Part 1 of 2

Boston Bruins

By Andrew Thompson, Editor of Causeway Crowd

It’s been a rough road trip for the Boston Bruins. Shawn Thornton will be out for 10 games due to his attack on Brooks Orpik. Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson are on injured reserve (with a broken leg and a concussion, in order). Dougie Hamilton and Adam McQuaid are still considered out of action for the time being, and Tuukka Rask was out of the game against the Oilers due to a concussion as well.

With all the injuries on the team, the influx of Providence Bruins to the team have given the team some needed youthful energy that has kept their road game winning streak alive and kicking. They’ve been getting some puck luck too. The Bruins are still first in the Atlantic and the East, and while they’re still having trouble getting that full 60-minute game, they can still find ways to win a hockey game.

Montreal Canadiens 

By Andy Bayer

The story for the Habs all season has been solid defense, good special teams, excellent goaltending, but ineptitude at putting the puck in the net. After being on a tear in late November and early December, the Habs, and Carey Price, laid their first ostrich egg of the season with a 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. However, to me giving up six goals to one of the best teams in hockey isn’t the most concerning thing. Every team has a stinker of a game once in a while.

What should concern most Habs fans is the lack of goal scoring. In the past three games the Habs went almost seven periods without scoring a goal. This has been a persistent problem all season. This has to change if the Habs are to be a real contender. The Daniel Briere signing has not turned out, and veteran Brian Gionta and young guys Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher have lost their scoring touch lately.

Montreal fans have been calling for more toughness and size, for P.K. Subban to play more, or to put the Kid Line back together. In my mind, what’s needed is for Marc Bergevin to pull the trigger and bring in a bona fide scorer like he did last year with Michael Ryder.

Tampa Bay Lightning 

By Tasha Meares, Editor of Bolts By The Bay

This has been an interesting rollercoaster ride this week in Bolts Nation.

The injury bug is still feeding off of the Lightning bench, but under the leadership of head coach Jon Cooper and captain Martin St. Louis, they are finding ways to overcome.

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning took off with a charge against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Unfortunately for the Bolts, a five-minute major for boarding to right winger Richard Panik (which eventually led to a two-game suspension) allowed the Caps to get the puck moving and make up some of the ground they lost early.

Things went downhill from there, as the Lightning would ultimately fall to the Caps in the shootout.

However, everything would change when they came home to meet Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings. While there was not particular flash or overpowering scoring going on in this game, this was probably the most solid game the Lightning have played all season long.

This weekend, we are headed into a doubleheader. On Saturday, we head to Jersey to face-off with the New Jersey Devils, followed by a rematch with the Red Wings on Sunday.

This is definitely going to be an action-packed weekend.

The journey continues here.

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Tags: NHL Atlantic Division Toronto Maple Leafs

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