Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/19/14

The Boston Bruins once looked invincible – and that seems like a long time ago.

From the start of November through January 12, the Bruins went 25-4-1 in one of the best 30-game stretches in recent memory. Yet, aside from that great two-month run, last spring’s Cup champs have looked average at best. Now it’s time for the team, losers of a season-high four straight, to look at themselves in the mirror and dig in.

What makes you believe that will happen?

Since January 12, the Bruins have failed to win back-to-back games. Nathan Horton is out of the lineup with no timetable to return. Tuukka Rask is injured, meaning Tim Thomas’ security blanket is in the form of a 36-year-old (Marty Turco) that was playing in Switzerland just three weeks ago. There is absolutely nothing going for this Bruins team that is going in reverse at the worst possible time.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong in Boston. Many want to bring up the Cup Hangover. Maybe it’s having the reverse effect, bringing the Bruins down in the second half of the season rather than the first half? I doubt that. They don’t look tired; rather, they have lost that ‘Big, Bad Bruins’ moniker for the moment. They have to get that back before the playoffs if they want any chance of a repeat.

Another factor in the Bruins’ free fall is the below-average goaltending from Thomas. He has played his way out of the Vezina Trophy conversation with a dismal second half, posting a 3.01 goals-against average and 13-13-0 record since December 31. Is he simply wearing down after a long, magnificent playoff run and carrying over that success to this season’s first half? Maybe.

Following their 2-1 win over Montreal on January 12 the Bruins looked to be in cruise control, sitting one point out of the Eastern Conference lead. With just over three weeks remaining in the regular season, Claude Julien’s club will now have to fend off the Ottawa Senators just to win the Northeast Division. The Senators currently sit one point back and are playing better hockey than the Bruins.

Here are the remaining schedules for both the B’s and Sens:

Boston has six games each at home and on the road; meanwhile Ottawa has six of their final 11 games at home, including a contest against Boston on April 5.

With no disrespect to the job Paul MacLean has done in his first year with the Senators, it is surprising to see the Bruins still having to fight for the division title given their uber-successful winter. But if you take out that aforementioned 25-4-1 stretch, this team is 15-23-2. That obviously is not a good sign for the defending champs.

As Julien said to CSN New England, the Bruins have to get back to playing together as a team. Until that happens, everyone around the league will come to realize that this isn’t quite the same team that dominated their competition for much of the first half.

Photo credit: Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.