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 26th-April 1st
Last week, the Bruins learned from their past mistakes and rebounded by winning three of four games. Sure, two of those games came against bottom-of-the-barrel teams, but they came away with convincing victories, nonetheless. This week, they faced-off against “lesser” competition, but would they experience similar results as the previous week?
Let’s dive into this past week:
Game One: Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers (March 27th)
The Rangers, despite their struggles this season, have had the Bruins number for a little while now. Before this game, the Bruins were 1-9 in their last 10 games against them in the regular season. They were also looking to bounce back after they blew a two goal lead in the third period against the Lightning.
Things got off to a riveting start as David Pastrank put the team up one early with assists from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. That lead wouldn’t last headed into the second period as Mika Zibanejad tied the game up at one near the end of the first.
From there on, it was mostly all Bruins as they scored the next two goals before the Rangers’ Ryan Strome made it interesting with a goal to bring it to 3-2 in the third. Pastrnak, who added a second goal in the second period, answered that with his third of the game to complete the natural hat trick. Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy would add goals of their own to seal the game, but not before Zibanejad added his second of the game just to piss off the home crowd.
One thing I noticed in this game was Bruce Cassidy shuffling Pastrnak between the first and second line. I think a little experimentation is always good coming down the stretch to see if he makes the team more productive with him on his usual line or alongside his fellow Czech brethren David Krejci. Personally, I like Pastrnak on the second line to balance things out because whoever plays on the first line (Heinen as of late), usually performs well enough.
Final: Bruins 6 – Rangers 3
Game Two: Boston Bruins vs Florida Panthers (March 30th)
After a good win to start the week, the team would look to defeat a team that has given them trouble this season as they were 2-1, but gave up 11 goals in three games to the Florida Panthers. The Bruins were looking to extend their 12-game win streak at home, but knew they would need to play tighter to do so.
For most of the game, the Panthers controlled the tempo, pace, and zone time and got off to a 2-0 lead near the end of the first. Midway through the second period, Noel Acciari gave some life to the TD Garden crowd by scoring the Bruins’ first goal before Troy Brouwer silenced them again with a short-handed goal. It was an absolute backbreaker for the team as Tuukka Rask simply had to have that save to keep his team in the fight.
There were some opportunities for the team throughout the third period, but no true momentum was gained and the Panthers would add an empty-net goal to seal the victory.
It was a snooze-fest from start-to-finish and the best thing the team could do was start over against the Red Wings.
Final: Bruins 1 – Panthers 4
Game Three: Boston Bruins @ Detroit Red Wings (March 31st)
Remember about two lines ago when I said the best thing the team could do was start over? Well, it’s like the team didn’t even read that sentence and immediately went back to how they played against the Panthers – at least for the first period. Detroit’s Anthony Mantha scored the first two goals of the game in the first period before the Bruins scored three unanswered goals in the second to go ahead 3-2.
After that, it was a completely lopsided affair as Mantha completed his hat trick in the third and then watched his teammates torch Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins to the tune of a 6-3 victory.
There were some positives in this game such as Marchand scoring a beautiful goal off an even more beautiful pass from Bergeron.
Outside of that, however, this game was one the team would sure like to forget as they head into the final three games of the regular season. It was a game that they should have played with more urgency as they look to lock up the second seed in the Atlantic Division.
Final: Bruins 3 – Red Wings 6
- The Bruins 12-game home win streak was the team’s longest since 2009
- David Pastrnak earned his third hat trick of the season, completing the hat trick of hat tricks
- Regardless, if the Bruins finish as the second or third seed, the team will be facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. At this point, they are just deciding who has home-ice in the series.
Bruins MVP of the Week
David Pastrnak: 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 12 SOG
The Bruins only have three games remaining on their regular season schedule. They need to win two of their next three to secure the second-seed in the Atlantic or have the Maple Leafs lose their next game and the Bruins win their next game. The Bruins control their playoff seeding, but it might not be easy doing it.
This upcoming week, the Bruins will face the Columbus Blue Jackets (45-30-4), Minnesota Wild (36-34-9), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (60-15-4). The Blue Jackets and Wild are both currently fighting for their playoff lives, although the Wild may be eliminated by the time the Bruins play them.
Join us next Tuesday as we recap these games and then preview the Bruins’ playoff matchup versus the Maple Leafs.
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