Boston Bruins Week in Review: Week 1
Looking back on Week One
The Boston Bruins were among 26 NHL teams to see on-ice action on Jan. 19, opening night of the truncated 2013 season. That night, they kicked off their season in style at TD Garden, dispatching the New York Rangers with a 3-1 win, followed by each player giving away his sweater to a devoted fan.
Two days later, the team had their first matinee game of the season, using Martin Luther King, Jr. day to take on the Winnipeg Jets. It was a hard-fought game, but the Bruins prevailed 2-1 in a shootout thanks to shootout tallies from Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron.
In the middle of week one of the NHL season, the Bruins made the trip to New York City to face the Rangers again. Though they lost 4-3, they earned a point from losing in overtime and contributed to the environment: Marian Gaborik’s hat trick meant 50 new trees planted.
To end their first week of action, the Bruins welcomed the New York Islanders on Jan. 25. A 4-2 win for Boston capped off an exciting first week and put the team in first place in the Eastern Conference, plus first place in the Northeast Division. The team holds a 3-0-1 record with seven points as of this writing.
While the Bruins look ahead to a week featuring back-to-back games, their first meeting with a Northeast Division rival and a visit to a team that was a thorn in their side last season, let’s take a look back at Boston’s first week back on the ice.
Milan Lucic gets the first
Just two days before puck drop, Milan Lucic abruptly missed Bruins practice because he was in the process of becoming a first-time father. (Mom Brittany and baby Valentina are both in good health.) But he only missed one day, got right back into the practice and game action and, 14 minutes into the first period of Boston’s first game of the season, put away the team’s first goal. It opened the door for Daniel Paille and Johnny Boychuk (on his 29th birthday) to pile two more goals on and beat the highly-touted Rangers by a 3-1 tally.
Tyler Seguin keeps it in
When the Bruins found themselves down 1-0 to the Jets, playing from behind for the first time this season, that may have necessitated a change to their game plan. But some nice work by Seguin led to his linemate and pal Brad Marchand picking up his first goal of the season too. Seguin intercepts a pass meant for another Jet, proceeds into the offensive zone, sees Marchand in an ideal position in front of the net, sends him a pass from right around the goaltenders’ trapezoid area and Marchand puts it home. Actually, the second line of Marchand, Bergeron and Seguin did all the offensive work in their 2-1 win since Seguin and Bergeron scored in the shootout.
Nathan Horton is back
Sure, the Bruins lost 4-3 in overtime to the Rangers and allowed a Gaborik hat trick in the process. However, there were some bright spots in that game, including Horton’s first goal scored since Jan. 19, 2012. His goal tied up the game with less than five minutes to go in regulation and caused him to display one of those mega-watt smiles that Bruins fans have been sorely missing in his yearlong absence due to the second concussion of his career. Welcome back, Horton. It’s good to see you again. Here’s to lots more goals scored from you this season.
You get a goal, you get a goal, everybody gets a goal!
Four different Bruins had their first goals of the 2013 season when the Islanders came to town. Not only that, but two of the first-time goal scorers were players on the Merlot Line (or the fourth line): Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell (above). Zdeno Chara’s look of relief when he scored his first of the season was a sight to behold. Patrice Bergeron sneaked in his first of the year, helped out by Dougie Hamilton—more about him later. While some teams struggle to find scoring outside their top line, the Bruins can count on pretty much anyone to get a G.
Teach me how to dougie
Dougie Hamilton is off to quite the start in the NHL. The 19-year-old defenseman has three points, all of them assists, in just four games played. On Jan. 25, he had his first multi-point game when he put up two of those three assists and caused the TD Garden crowd to chant Dougie, Dougie. Later, the person in charge of music played the song "Teach Me How to Dougie" by Cali Swag District, leading Hamilton to do a little dance on the bench. Teams need to decide whether to keep or send down rookies soon, but if the Bruins send Hamilton back to Niagara, then I’m the Queen of England.
It's Tuukka time
Tuukka Rask can be pretty hard on himself, but the 25-year-old goalie is off to a good start in his second tour of duty as the Bruins’ starting goaltender. Right now, he’s tied at second place in the league for wins among goalies and boasts a 1.96 goals-against average with a .925 save percentage, both of which are metrics that put him among the top 10 of all netminders. He made some heartstopping saves at the end of the second game against the Rangers, moves that helped his team get to overtime and earn a point. The Garden is often alive with chants of his name. I have a feeling Rask is going to be okay.
The joy of Bourques
Chris Bourque is fitting in well on the Bruins’ third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. He doesn’t have any points in his four games played just yet, though he did unsuccessfully take place in the shootout against Winnipeg, but head coach Claude Julien has given him praise. Plus, the fact that Bourque is playing in Boston now means his dad, Bruins legend Ray Bourque, is a regular presence at TD Garden. Not only that, he’s usually there with small children: Chris’ son Kingston, plus Ray’s niece Gracie, as seen above. Three generations of Bourques, all in the same building—it’s a beautiful sight.
The Bruins have only played four games so far this season, but the team already has four players with one registered fight each on hockeyfights.com. Shawn Thornton took on Michael Rupp and bloodied his jersey. Gregory Campbell tangoed with Stu Bickel in the same game as the Thornton-Rupp fight. Tough hombre Adam McQuaid went with Brian Boyle during the second Rangers game, as seen above, and Milan Lucic took down Matt Carkner. Thornton may be the Bruins’ beat cop, but there are other guys on the lineup who aren’t afraid to take matters into their own hands when they take exception to something.