Boston takes the lead with a balanced attack and never looks back. Boston, MA- It took six starts, but the Boston Bruins finally scored the first goal of the game in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes, and they held on for a solid 5-2 win to force a do or die game seven match in… Continue reading Bruins Strike First, Force Game Seven
Winger also is the straw that stirs the drink for Bruins.
The factors for the Boston Bruins evening up their best-of-seven series against the Carolina Hurricanes are multiple. The biggest one is the play of Boston’s agitator-in-chief, Brad Marchand. Over the weekend, the 5′-9″ winger upped his game dramatically in the Bruins’ two series-tying victories in Boston. Marchand’s numbers in games one and two in Raleigh, NC, were not on par with his usual production. He had one assist and mustered only five shots on goal during the two losses to open the series.
His numbers at TD Garden in games three and four were off the charts. Eight points (three goals and five assists) and eight shots. During game two on Sunday, a 5-2 win, Marchand factored into all five Bruins’ goals.
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) May 7, 2022
Marchand is the engine that drives the Bruins. The Bruins thrive when he gets under the opponents’ skin while keeping his cool. In Carolina Marchand was stymied by the smothering play of Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast, and Nino Niederreiter. Marchand’s frustration was evident in game two when Hurricanes back-up netminder Pyotr Kochetkov slashed him in the second period. Marchand flinched as if he was going to retaliate with a two-handed slash but held back, only to follow through after a shove by Kochetkov.
“He’s got a letter on his sweater for a reason,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a battler, a competitive guy his whole life, he’s not going to get down too long. It’s the time of year he loves to play. He’s shown that.”
“You now have some animosity, we’re in game three or four,” added Cassidy. “there’s some chirping going on now too and that can elevate his game.”
Back in Boston, it was Marchand doing the provoking. He drew Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo off of his game in game four. After the buzzer sounded to end the first period in game four, the two exchanged pleasantries where Marchand called DeAngelo a racist. DeAngelo has a history going back to his OHL days and his time with the New York Rangers.
“It wasn’t much of an exchange,” said Marchand when asked about it. “I didn’t even know he was around me. Kind of came out of nowhere. There really wasn’t much of one…Just saying, “Hey, how’s your Mother’s Day?”
“It’s bright lights time and I think Marshy has always been pretty good with that.”
Marchand admitted after game three that his play hadn’t been where it needed to be.
“It’s the most I’ve felt engaged,” said the Bruins’ assistant captain. “It got to be a little while since I felt that into a game. I think the importance of the situation we’re in hit us all.”
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) May 8, 2022
Carolina had the advantage of putting the trio of Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast, and Nino Niederreiter on the re-united “Perfection Line” of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. Carolina’s trio kept the Bruins’ trio scoreless, save for Bergeron’s power-play goal in game three.
Cassidy was able to keep his charges away from that setup at home, and it paid off as the “Perfection Line” rattled off a combined 16 points at TD Garden.
“Staal’s line is a very dominant, defensive line, very hard on forechecks,” said Marchand. “They’re big so they cover a lot of space in the d-zone and the neutral zone and they compete. They’re very good on face-offs as well so you don’t always get as many opportunities off of that. Kind of a strength of our group.”
“That’s playoffs, it’s a chess match, that’s the advantages of being at home versus being on the road,” added Marchand. “That’s a very good line, they’ve been great in this series so far. Those are the types of players that take you deep in the playoffs.”
The Marchand line primarily went up against Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Seth Jarvis in game three. Game four was a majority of Aho, Svechnikov, and Staal as line-ups shuffled due to power-plays, penalty kills, and in-game changes.
Marchand’s Ice TIme Versus Staal line in Games 1-4
Staal 12:04 Fast 11:18 Niederreiter 11:58
Staal 11:49 Fast 10:07 Niederreiter 10:40
Staal 5:43 Fast 2:34 Niederreiter 2:34
Staal 9:13 Fast 3:49 Niederreiter 3:31
“It will be an in-game decision,” said Cassidy about splitting up the Marchand line again before game five. “We’re down to the best two-out-of-three. We’ll do whatever we think is right in-game to get back on track. That was the reason for it, late in game two, whenever we switched back. We needed some offensive momentum, those two guys could benefit from seeing each other, Marchand and Pastrnak, and I think they have.”
“We’ll see. A lot is made up of the match-up,” added Cassidy. “They (Carolina) will obviously control that for the most part. We scored a couple of goals off of face-offs the other day. Sometimes an icing can take you out of your match-up too, so there’s a little bit of that that we’ll keep an eye on.”
“At the end of the day, those guys have played against all the best in the NHL,” continued Cassidy. “Yes, it’s a challenge for them, but they’ve also been through these series. That’s what they’re up against.”
The Bruins will need to steal one in Carolina if they plan on advancing from this series.
Boston evens series vs. Hurricanes 2-2 in Sunday matinee. Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins had four goal scorers for the second straight game as they outlasted the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in front of 17,850 at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. Brad Marchand’s two third period goals and Jeremy Swayman’s 24 saves on the day highlighted the Bruins’ effort to tie the series with the Hurricanes… Continue reading Bruins Top Carolina 5-2 to Win Two Straight
Boston cuts series deficit to 2-1 in win over Carolina. Boston, MA – A raucous sellout TD Garden crowd was just what the slumping Boston Bruins needed to get back into their series against the Carolina Hurricanes. 17,850 black and gold-clad fans witnessed a return to form for the Bruins as they put together a solid… Continue reading Bruins Double Up Hurricanes 4-2
The Boston Bruins‘ recent stretch has been a minor cause for alarm as the injuries and losses mount. It’s not that they are losing so much as it is how they are losing. Boston has given up three straight second-period leads during this current three-game losing streak, their longest season. The Bruins have eight regular-season… Continue reading The Struggle Is Real
Erik Haula scores twice to help Boston outlast Columbus.
Boston, MA – The Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage of a minute-and-a-half of shaky play by Boston Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman, coupled with a forty save performance from their goalie Elvis Merzlikins, to hang around the TD Garden longer than they should have. In the third period, Erik Haula‘s second goal of the game and a pair of empty-net goals gave the Bruins the push they needed to close out the Blue Jackets. Boston earned two points in the Eastern Conference standings to keep pace with the Toronto Maple Leafs and gain a point on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On a night when the Bruins and Blue Jackets were honoring Boston forward Nick Foligno‘s 1,000th game, which came March 15, 2022, in Chicago against the Black Hawks, the pesky Columbus squad turned in a solid effort against their former captain. Fortunately for Foligno and Boston, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Bruins’ power-play, which took advantage of their lone opportunity late in the third.
“We got back to playing the way we were supposed to,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy of their third-period performance. “Patient, responsible hockey, attack when the situation dictates, play behind their D, and create turnovers on the forecheck.”
“I thought we were doing that in spurts in the first and second periods, that’s how we were creating a lot of offense tonight, by pressuring their D,” added Cassidy. “Their goalie was seeing the puck well, so we needed some second and third effort around the net to get it by him.”
Haula continued his scoring ways when he banged in a loose puck during a scrum in the Columbus crease. Hampus Lindholm carried around the Blue Jackets net where he dished to a charging Charlie McAvoy. Merzlikins made a leg save on McAvoy’s backhander while laying on his stomach, but Taylor Hall knocked the puck to the opposite post, where Haula tapped it in for his 11th.
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) April 2, 2022
The Blue Jackets tied the game with 28 seconds left in the opening period when Gustav Nyquist crashed the Bruins’ net and knocked in a loose puck after Swayman (22 saves) couldn’t hold onto an Andrew Peeke shot from the blue line. Nyquist’s goal was his 17th.
Columbus pulled ahead only forty-two seconds into the middle frame when Justin Danforth knocked in a rebound at the top of the crease. Swayman made the initial stop on Yegor Chinakhov‘s shot from the goal line, but Danforth was there to swat in the puck. Chinakhov and Sean Kuraly assisted on Danforth’s seventh.
Brad Marchand tied the game for Boston with his 31st late in the period when he finished off some nifty passing with line-mates Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk at the left post. The Bruins had solid pressure in the Blue Jackets zone thanks to McAvoy keeping the play alive at the blue line before Boston equalized at 18:13.
McAvoy raced to keep the puck in at the boards in front of the Bruins bench before firing it back into the zone where Marchand picked it up behind the Blue Jackets’ goal. Marchand dished to Bergeron for the one-timer that Merzlikins turned away, but again, McAvoy skated in and harassed Patrick Laine into passing straight to DeBrusk. DeBrusk walked out and dished to Bergeron, who faked a shot before sliding a pass to Marchand at the far post for the tap into an empty net.
Peeke drew a Hooking penalty at 14:06 of the third period giving the Bruins their first man-advantage. Columbus almost got away scot-free, but Haula re-directed a Brandon Carlo slap-pass past Merzlikins for the go-ahead goal as the penalty was expiring at 16:06.
Haula’s second of the game, and fifth in the last four games, proved to be the difference. Haula has ten points in the previous six games.
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) April 3, 2022
“It’s awesome when you can help the team win, yeah I’m happy,” said Haula. “I’m having a lot of fun. I feel like the team’s playing really well and it’s obviously helping a lot. I’m just enjoying the ride, trying to do my best to prepare for every game and trying to bring it.”
“I don’t know if it gets to me, but I have moved a lot lately,” Haula said when asked if surviving the trade deadline has helped his recent production. “Maybe there’s a little thought in the back of the head, of the past, you work through that obviously, and it is nice when you know ‘this is our team’ but that’s ultimately out of my control.”
“Now it’s put the foot on the gas and try to do something special here,” added Haula.
The Bruins added a Jake DeBrusk (19) empty-net goal at 18:00 and a Charlie Coyle (15) empty-netter at 19:54 for the icing on the cake.
Boston completes a five-game homestand where they went 4-1 and will face off against the Blue Jackets again on Monday night in Columbus, Ohio, to kick off a four-game road trip.
Erik Haula’s photo appears courtesy of Carolyn Mooney. Follow her on Instagram @caramooneyphoto.
The local kid has a storybook night at TD Garden
Boston, MA – Watch any child at play and listen to them acting out a scenario.
“He catches the pass, time is winding down, ten, nine… He shoots! Score! The (insert team) wins on (insert name) ‘s go-ahead goal with one second left in the game!”
On Thursday at TD Garden, Billerica, Massachusetts native and former Boston College Eagles star Marc McLaughlin lived out that youthful childhood dream in front of 17,850 during the Boston Bruins’ 8-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
McLaughlin, who signed as a free agent on March 15, 2022, after the Eagles wrapped up their season with a loss at Northeastern in the Hockey East playoffs, was making his NHL debut for his hometown team. He also picked up his first NHL goal in the second period on his first NHL shot.
The things that dreams are made of. Marc McLaughlin’s 1st @NHL goal in his debut. Billerica, MA and @BC_MHockey product living the dream. #NHLBruins 7-1 on #NJDevils w/ 3 goals in 3:03 of 2nd. #NJDvsBOS pic.twitter.com/sAHcnHmXuv
— PuckingOff™ (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) April 1, 2022
“It was pretty special,” said McLaughlin of his goal. “I feel like I’ve lived that moment as a kid 100 million times down in my basement. For it to come true here, to get in a game and contribute with a goal is really special.”
At 12:04 of the second, McLaughlin made it 7-1 Bruins when he finished off a two-on-one rush with Trent Frederic by one-timing a shot from the slot past Devils backup goalie Jon Gilles.
“Freddie (Trent Frederic) had a good block, started there in the d-zone,” McLaughlin said. “Freddie got his feet moving and made a great pass right in my wheel-house. All I had to do is shoot it in.”
TD Garden erupted in jubilation when McLaughlin’s shot hit the twine in the top right corner. The jumbotron showed his parents and relatives in a celebratory dance which only added to the occasion.
“I saw it on the jumbotron,” said McLaughlin. “I saw my mum jumping up and down. That was pretty cool to see. I’m blessed with having such a supportive family, and friends; my teammates were here tonight. That means a lot to me to see them out there.”
“Well, did you see the bench?” asked Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy about McLaughlin’s goal. “It tells you about our team. The kid’s only been here a little bit, but he’s worked. I think every guy on the bench was excited for him. He’s a hard-working kid. Getting your first goal in front of your parents and family is a nice thing. Everyone was happy for him. He earned it; he played well.”
“It was funny looking over during warmups and seeing the crowd that he had here,” said Brad Marchand. “Such a surreal feeling for him, I’m sure, being a local kid, getting the opportunity to play here.”
“We were talking before the game, in the gym a little bit,” added Marchand. “He was talking to Grizzy (Matt Grzelcyk) about his first game here. It must be special for their whole families. We’re very happy for him. He’s such a good kid, you always love to see that.”
“He does all the right things, he works hard, stays in his lane. ut very personable when you talk to him,” said Marchand of McLaughlin. “He does the things that you want to see from a kid coming from his situation. He’s always working hard out on the ice, working in the gym after practice. He’s there early all the time. one of the first guys here tonight. He’s a pro. He’s already dialed in. He’s going to fit in well here.”
Capping off childhood dreams, McLaughlin revealed he usually pretended to be Patrice Bergeron during those basement sessions.
“It’s definitely surreal. That’s a guy I’ve looked up to my whole life,” said McLaughlin knowing that Bergeron was celebrating on the Bruins bench.
Not a bad pro start for the undrafted BC captain, who also participated in the Beijing Olympics in February for Team USA. McLaughlin scored 21 goals and ten assists in 33 games with the Eagles in 2021-22. His career totals at the Heights were 40-35-75 in 130 games.
“Coach York has had such a great impact on me as a person and as a hockey player,” said McLaughlin of his time at BC with legendary head coach Jerry York. “He really values being a good person, being positive, and just showing up and competing every day. I can’t say enough about how much he’s grown my game over the past four years.”
McLaughlin said some good-natured ribbing was going on with three Boston University Terriers in the Bruins locker room.
“They were joking with me when I arrived; hopefully, we’ll get some more Eagles over here.”
12 Players Grab a Point, None Bigger Than Marc McLaughlin’s first. Boston, MA – After getting battered by the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-4 on Tuesday, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said changes were coming to the Bruins lineup. On Thursday, those changes paid dividends as Boston put the visiting New Jersey Devils through the wringer in an 8-1 laugher in front… Continue reading Bruins Rout Devils, Score Six in Second Period
The Bruins Pick Up Ground & Gain Momentum on Road Trip The Boston Bruins return home from a successful west coast road trip, going 5-1-0 against the Pacific Division. The Bruins started trailing the Washington Capitals by three points in the Wild Card race. They now have a three-point advantage over the Capitals. Boston also… Continue reading West Coast Swings Well for Boston
Bruins fortunes back on the upside after solid win. The NHL season is an up and down affair throughout an 82 game schedule. It’s easy to get caught up in a team’s day-to-day or game-by-game highs and lows. Take the Boston Bruins, for example; before Monday’s matinee against the NHL’s top team in the standings,… Continue reading Elevator, Going Up!