Leading up to the end of the regular season, I will be taking a look back on the Bruins’ previous week of games and providing some analysis and lukewarm takes about the team. We all know life can get busy and we might miss a game here and there, so let me be your Bruins’ informant.
For these weekly roundups, I will be covering the games played from Monday-Monday and posting this article every Tuesday afternoon. NHL teams mostly play Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, so we’ll have about 3-4 games per week to talk about.
March 4th – March 11th
After a successful 3-0 week that extended the Bruins point streak to sixteen straight games, the team finally succumbed to the loss column and came back down to Earth when they wrapped up their week yesterday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team scored 13 goals and gave up 12 of them in four games as they had three one goal victories and the only reason they had a two-goal game is because they gave up an empty-netter to Pittsburgh.
The team spent most of these games trailing their opponent as they gave up the first goal in three out of four of their games, but ultimately came back to win two of them. The theme of this week was resiliency, comebacks, and last-minute victories.
Let’s dive into this week:
Game One: Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes (March 5th)
The Hurricanes came into this game against the Bruins as one of the hottest and most electric teams in the league. To top it off, they decided to wear their throwback Hartford Whalers jerseys that was essentially the reincarnation of nostalgia on a hockey sweater.
The Hurricanes have lit up the hockey world with their post-game celebrations known as the “Surge”, but their club was surging all game long. The Hurricanes got the first two goals from Sebastian Aho who, at the young age of 21, has turned himself into a top-20 center in the league. The Bruins responded with three straight unanswered goals, including a short-handed goal from Patrice Bergeron.
It wouldn’t be a Bruins game without them letting their opponent tie the game late in the third from Captain Clutch Justin Williams. The Bruins had been dominating since they gave up a two-goal lead, but they had been humming until the game-tying third goal.
The team would go on to win in overtime when Jake DeBrusk stole the puck from the Canes in their zone, skated behind the goal net, and swung a slick pass to David Krejci who deked Hurricane’s goalie Curtis McElhinney and buried the puck in the back of the net.
NESN play-by-play announcer couldn’t have summed up the goal any better when he shouted: “Strip the whale of its blubber, burn ’em!”.
The only downside to this game was that newly acquired forward Marcus Johansson was injured on a strong hit from Michael Ferland and is considered day-to-day with a lung contusion.
Final: Bruins 4 – Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Game Two: Boston Bruins vs Florida Panthers (March 7th)
Just like the previous game, the Bruins’ opponent scored the first two goals and gave the B’s an early deficit to try and overcome. The only difference between this game and the last one is that the Panthers are essentially out of the playoff race while the Hurricanes own the first Wild Card spot.
David Krejci scored shortly after the Panthers scored their second goal and Bergeron would eventually tie the game up in the third with an absolute snipe to beat Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo. It was his third short-handed goal of the season and it brought all of the momentum over to the Bruins until Jonathan Hubderdeau scored his second goal of the game and stole the momentum back from out under the Bruins’ grasp.
No action happened until the Bruins went on a power-play late in the game and tied it up with a monster slap shot from Matt Grzelcyk, who broke a 40+ game goal drought in the process. From there, instead of playing for overtime, the Bruins went for the kill and were rewarded for their aggressiveness when Bergeron snapped the game-winner past Luongo with under seven seconds left in regulation.
During winning/point streaks of this length, there will eventually be a “wet fart” of a game when the team rolls over for three periods. It appeared that would be the case in this one, but the team would have none of it.
Charlie McAvoy said after the game that the team is a family and that’s why they’ve been on this run. Like a family, this team is always there to pick each other up in victory and overtime/shootout losses.
Final: Bruins 3 – Panthers 2
Game Three: Boston Bruins vs Ottawa Senators (March 9th)
I’d like to admit something to you all: I missed this game in it’s entirety. Where was I you might be asking? I was out seeing Captain Marvel because I am a Marvel fan and had to see it despite mixed reviews on the inter-webs. I won’t spoil anything, but like this movie, the Bruins game against the Senators might not have been the prettiest, but it produced a victory nonetheless (did I just spoil this game? Whoops). Have no fear, I recorded this game and watched it after Captain Marvel defeated Thanos (don’t worry, that didn’t happen).
It took the Bruins till the second period to score against the worst team in the NHL when Torey Krug fed a slick pass to Brad Marchand who buried it from the right circle. The Senators took over with a goal immediately after Marchand scored and then added a second goal early in the third. The Bruins were sloppy when they gave up these two goals and both of them were the result of self-inflicted mistakes in their own zone.
Of course, when the Bruins face a deficit, a fire is lit under their asses and they respond. Fourth liner Chris Wagner scored his 11th goal of the season and tied the game at two. Like the last game, there was no need to go to overtime as David Krejci tipped a Danton Heinen wrist shot into the back of the net with just 45 ticks remaining in the game.
The game-winner secured Boston’s nineteenth straight game with at least one point, the longest point streak in franchise history since the 1940-1941 season.
Final: Bruins 3 – Senators 2
Game Four: Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins (March 10th)
The Bruins haven’t won in Pittsburgh since December 2015, so taking their 19-game point streak to the Steel City and extending it to twenty was going to be a tough task. Nick Bjugstad started the scoring for the Penguins just 1:33 into the game and ex-Florida Panther Jared McCann scored a short-handed goal to put the Pens up 2-0 in the first. This was the 12th short-handed goal allowed by the Bruins this season which is tied for the 2nd most in the league behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins, to their credit, have 10 short-handed goals this year which is tied for third most in the NHL.
The two teams exchanged goals in the second period with goals from David Krejci and Jake Guentzel. Things would remain quiet for both teams until Bruins’ defenseman John Moore wristed a shot from the blue line to pull the team within one goal of extending their point streak to twenty. Moving on past your teenage years can be scary and it apparently was too scary for the black-and-gold as McCann scored an empty-net goal to officially nix the streak at nineteen.
Final: Bruins 2 – Pittsburgh 4
- As mentioned above, the Bruins 19-game point streak was the second longest in franchise history and their longest since the 1940-1941 season. The 1940-1941 team had a point streak of 23 games.
- Despite their point streak remaining intact until their final game of the week in Pittsburgh, the Bruins relied on three comeback victories to maintain that streak.
- The team is still without Marcus Johansson and also lost defenseman Matt Grzelcyk who had his arm pinned and smashed into along the boards. A timetable for Grzelcyk is unknown as he is undergoing more tests on his arm.
- The Bruins have climbed the NHL standings thanks in part to their ridiculous streak. They still sit 17 points back of Tampa Bay who has already clinched a playoff spot and are well on their way to claiming the Presidents’ Trophy for having the best record in the league.
Bruins MVP of the Week
David Krejci: 4 G, 1 A, 5 Points, Even Rating
Bruins Record: 42-18-9 (93 Points); 2nd in NHL
After four games this week, the Bruins have thirteen games remaining in the regular season and sit somewhat comfortably in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division. This upcoming week, the team squares off against the Columbus Blue Jackets (38-28-3) twice with the Winnipeg Jets (40-24-4) sandwiched in-between them.
Join us again next Tuesday as we recap these games and take a look forward to where the Bruins will wind up in the playoff seeding.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter to discuss all things Bruins @acomak8