Cynics would say the Boston Bruins are ahead of schedule. They got a head start on their December swoon Nov. 22 with a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia that started a four-game winless streak (0-2-1-1).
But this season's Bruins are glass half-full types who are determined not to repeat the collapse of last season. The Bruins led the league through November but ended up seventh in the Eastern Conference and 15th overall by the end of 2002-03.
"I'd like to say we learned something and we've been through this before," Bruins left wing Mike Knuble told The Boston Globe. "I don't think we're losing games to a lack of effort or being outplayed or outclassed or anything. We're kind of controlling our own downfall a little bit. It's not what anybody else is doing to us.
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