Boston Junior Bruins
February 10, 2008
BRUINS DEFENSE LEADING THE WAY
FRAMINGHAM, MA - As the team heads into the stretch run of the regular season and then into the playoffs the Bruins will look to one of its captains to help lead them. Tommy Monteiro, from Swansea, MA, has been an anchor for the Bruins defense from day one of the season and a big reason the team is leading the league in team defense. While the Bruins offense has again been potent, it is their defense that will be a key to their march to their third straight league regular season championship.
The B's have allowed a league low 61 goals against this season which is good for a league low 1.84 goals against average per game. How good has the Bruins defense been? Monteiro, the elder statesmen on the team and the defensive core, has also contributed in a major way on the offensive side of the game as well. He has quarterbacked a power play that is at a league leading 30.19% and he leads all defensemen in scoring with 32 points.
A key to the Bruins power play success has been the play of Monteiro. The key to a good power play is gaining entry into the offensive zone and that starts with a good breakout and he has made good decisions all year bringing the puck up ice and getting into the hands of the open man. Those good decisions have continued in the offensive zone as the Bruins set up in one of three power play sets the team has.
The team's success on the power play is certainly a collective effort of 10-13 players that see power play time on the team but Monteiro has been a main stay. His patience with the puck and not forcing passes as players at these ages are wont to do let the puck get onto the stick of open player giving the team its best chance to get quality scoring opportunities.
Monteiro is also the benefactor of his power play teammates skill level, work ethic and decision making as well. Those on the team's top group (Joe Pendenza, Max Barron, Justin Mansfield and Nick Foy-before he got injured) know what to do with the puck when they have it as well.
Montiero's play, while it has been strong since the start of the year, has improved steadily over the first five months of the season. That improvement, and the improvement of the other defensemen on the team, has also been a key to the team?s success.
Colin Shea, Steve Ginand and Danny Federico, both in their second seasons with the team, have shown dramatic improvement from a season ago. Shea leads the team in +/- rating with a +42 and has emerged as a power play quarterback as well. Ginand?s improvement is evident from not only a season ago but from the start of the year. The Bruins, till just recently, have, basically, been playing the season with only five players. The recently added Jeff Brown, acquired in a trade with Tri-State, gives the team some added depth and numbers. Ginand?s development and steady improvement have turned him into one of the better defensemen in the league. '92 Danny Federico, from Acton, MA, is another whose development was counted on at the beginning of the year were the team to match the success it had a year ago. The Bruins defensive unit, by far the youngest in the league, has gotten solid veteran play from Federico and there may not be a better 1-1 defender in the league. Rounding out the five who have been with the team since the start of the year is '93er Zach Todd. Todd, who has the best feet of any of the Bruins defensemen has a big future ahead of him and has benefitted from having four D-partners who were with the team last season. His learning curve has been rapid and his improvement, more than the others at his position, has been dramatic and needed.
The Bruins have a tough road ahead of them in order to reach one of their goals as defending their regular season title. A busy February, in which the Bruin play 12 games, has some of the toughest teams in their path and the stingy defense the team has shown over the first five months will be needed through the rest of the season.