Bruins Beat: Bruins Show Signs of Resilience

With Game #70 in the books, the Bruins are now three points away, with 97 points, just three shy from hitting the century mark in their Centennial year celebration. Sitting atop the National Hockey is a feeling they’ve enjoyed before, but this time it feels much more special, as they have to fight each and every game to maintain that position. The reason being, is that this season they are not holding a wide margin with a runaway regular season as they did last year. The race for the top spot (Bruins 41-14-15) and 97 points, is being pursued in the Eastern conference at press time (Wednesday) by the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers. The Panthers are at 94 points and two games in hand, while the Rangers who visit TD Garden tonight (Thursday), have the same number of points with a single game in hand. Similarly in the Western conference, the Vancouver Canucks have tallied 94 points, and have a single game in hand, followed by the Winnipeg Jets and the Colorado Avalanche – each with 93 points –  with the Jets holding two games in hand, and the Avalanche a single game in hand. The question will likely arise again this year…do the Bruins expend the energy to position themselves to again win the President’s Trophy  (most points in a season), as they did last season, and burn themselves out just before the playoffs, or do they consider resting players for the final dozen regular season games?

Tuesday’s 6-2 win over the lowly Senators displayed the capabilities of David Pastrnak with his 17th regular season hat trick (44 goals), as he hones in on a repeat of his 100-plus points. Add to that offense, a pair of power play goals (#2 and 3) from Justin Brazeau in only his 13th game with the locals. Another good sign is that the Boston power play is showing some strong signs of bouncing back. The play of Brazeau at net front was the direct result of his two power play goals. Dropping back to the Bruins’ blue line offense, Kevin Shattenkirk, back in the lineup following two healthy scratches, stepped up with a strong showing with three assists in the victory over the Senators, and also one assist from Matt Grzelcyk on a Pasta goal. Fourth liner Jesper Boqvist capped the Bs scoring list with his fifth goal of the season, as the ‘Three Bs’ line of John Beecher, Boqvist and Brazeau continue to score and play well together in their second game as a unit. Not to be overlooked in the Tuesday night win was the strong play of goaltender Linus Ullmark, stopping 30 shots, including 21 in a furious second period attack by the Sens, on the way to his third consecutive victory. His recent showings have been strong, and come at a good time for him to be considered the frontrunner in coach Montgomery’s decision for playoff game one starter. The Bruins will host the Rangers (6-3-1 last 10) tonight (Thursday 7:00pm) as they close out their three-game homestand, and prepare to hit the road for six straight games. The half-dozen road games begin on Saturday with a 1:00pm matinee versus the Philadelphia Flyers (5-4-1), followed by a two-day respite before heading down to Florida for a back-to-back set with the Panthers (7-3-0) on Tuesday 7:00pm, and the Tampa Bay Lightning (7-2-1), and on a four-game win streak on Wednesday 7:30pm. Another two-day respite before taking on the Washington Capitals on Saturday at 7:00pm. Stops remaining on the road trip will include Nashville and Carolina.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *