Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 3/16/12

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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh McCown, Craig Robertson defend Joe Haden

Jimmy Butler cannot believe teams game-plan for him

James Harden: I know I was the MVP, that’s 100 percent given

Five questions about the 2015 American League Wild Card game

Kevin Love expected to be cleared for Cavs’ opening night

Dan Jennings will not return as Marlins manager


Bowling Green State coach saves motorist from serious injury

Roethlisberger refutes reports he could return in Week 7

Matt Harvey missed mandatory workout, was stuck in traffic

Landon Donovan: Klinsmann must go if USA loses to Mexico

Texas HC: Don’t blame past coaches for our mistakes

Colts have a chance for history against Texans on Thursday

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Roddy White: I want to catch passes

Five questions about the 2015 AL Wild Card game

Bowling Green State coach saves motorist from serious injury

Bills defenders: Odell Beckham Jr. is a prima donna

Lifelong Yankees fan disses Alex Rodriguez in obituary

Trail Blazers honor Umpqua Community College victims

CC Sabathia and the humanity of athletes

Chip Kelly on Eagles start: Hit two kicks, and we're 3-1

Stephen Curry celebrates three with bench before it goes in

What should be done with Kaepernick?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker