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 (except for this one). NHL teams mostly play Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, so we’ll have about 3-4 games per week to talk about.
My apologies for posting this later than usual. There was a little snafu with the original blog and it wound up being deleted. This was re-worked from scratch, so hope you all enjoy!
With the Bruins going through a mediocre week against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets, they were looking to carry some momentum they gained over the weekend when they went on their upcoming four-game road trip. Compared to last week, the Bruins experienced a more upbeat and productive week that spells good things to come come playoff time.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though, and dive into this week:
Game One: Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders
The question of whether or not the Bruins could keep their momentum going when they headed to New York was quickly answered when Sean Kuraly scored the opening goal nearly 1:30 into the game. This was his first of two goals in the game, the second of which came in the second period. Noel Acciari also contributed a goal in the second and Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk rounded out the scoring in the third period.
From top-to-bottom, it was a dominant performance as the team scored first for the first time and discontinued the trend of their opponent’s scoring first. The fourth line guys were all over the place on the score sheet in this one and it was nice to see the team’s depth scoring. The fourth line always seems to have a scoring outburst every week or so and this game was that game for them. If the Bruins receive this type of scoring from their depth players, then they significantly increase their chances of going far in the playoffs.
The biggest takeaway from this game was not how dominant the team was on offense, but how they shutdown the Islanders who, at the time, were the first place team in the Metropolitan Division. They held the Islanders to an abysmal thirteen shots on goal and Tuukka Rask could have taken a nap and still produced a shut out the way his team was playing in front of him. There was no doubt about it: the Bruins suffocated the Islanders’ puck carriers and made life difficult for them across the ice.
It was a nice start to the week as the team headed to New Jersey.
Final: Bruins 5 – Islanders 0
Game Two: Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils
One thing that is important for any team facing a bad team after just facing a top-level team is to bring that same energy and focus they had in the previous game. Although it hasn’t happened that much this year, the Bruins had been notorious for playing down to their competition. This was not the case as the team pummeled the Devils and produced a near-identical result to their previous game against the Islanders.
The Bruins received most of their scoring from the top line of David Pastrank, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron. Marchand and Bergeron contributed three points, while Pastrank had two points. Danton Heinen and David Backes added goals of their own in the third period as the team cruised to an easy victory.
The defense was once again superb as they only allowed one goal on 22 shots on net. It was nice taking care of business against a team sitting near the bottom of the league standings, but the team knew they had to keep this up as they headed to Florida.
Final: Bruins 5 – Devils 0
Game Three: Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers
The scoring was evenly spread out in this game as there were seven different goal-scorers for the Bruins. Each line contributed at least one goal and there was no shortage of offense spread throughout. It did take till the second period for the scoring to unfold after there was only one goal from Noel Acciari in the first.
From there, the onslaught was on as Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Karson Kuhlman, Steven Kampfer, and David Pastrnak all scored in the second period. The best part of the second period? Acciari showing MacKenzie Weegar how to throw a left-hook:
Patrice Bergeron would add an empty-net goal to close things out and the Bruins would head to Tampa Bay to finish up their four-game road trip.
No offense to the Panthers, but the Lightning were the pot of gold (or maybe topaz) at the end of the rainbow.
Final: Bruins 7 – Panthers 3
Game Four: Boston Bruins @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Even though the Lightning had wrapped up the President’s Trophy earlier last week, both them and the Bruins could use one another as a benchmark for where there team was at. Things got off to a rocky start for the Bruins as Steven Stamkos scored first. Brad Marchand evened things up before Stamkos would break the tie later in the first period.
After that tally by Stamkos, it was all Bruins in the second and early in the third period as they received goals from Charlie Coyle, Brandon Carlo, and a second one from Marchand. The Bruins were taking advantage of uncharacteristic mistakes by the Lightning and were also playing smartly with the puck. The team was up 4-2 headed into the third period before things got out-of-hand.
In the third, the Lightning had goals from Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov to tie the game up at four before Anthony Cirelli scored the game-winner with under one minute left-to-play. The Bruins got unusually aggressive at a point in the game where they didn’t need to and were pinching down in their offensive zone with a lead. This aggressive pinching led to some odd-man situations and Tampa took full advantage of these lapses in judgement.
With this loss, hopefully the Bruins learn from their mistakes and are better prepared should they face each other again in the playoffs.
Final: Bruins 4 – Lightning 5
- Zdeno Chara scored a goal in the team’s 7-3 win over the Panthers. This was Chara’s 200th goal of his career and this puts him at 22nd overall among defensemen all-time.
- Brad Marchand earned his 90th point during this week. This was the first time a Bruins player reached the 90 point mark since Marc Savard did it in the 2006-2007 season.
Bruins’ MVP of the Week
Noel Acciari: 2 Goals, 1 Assist, +3 Rating, 1 Stunning Fight (See above)
The Bruins only have six games remaining on their regular season schedule, although they have a magic number of four games to clinch a number two seed in the Atlantic Division. They have already clinched the three-seed in their division and have a great chance of locking up the two-seed this week with some favorable matchups against teams that sit near the bottom of the league standings.
This upcoming week, the Bruins will face the New York Rangers (29-33-13), Florida Panthers (33-32-12), and the Detroit Red Wings (28-38-10).
Join us next Tuesday as we recap these games and take a look forward to finalizing the team’s playoff seeding.
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