Boston Bruins Week in Review: Week 3
A look back at Week Three
In the third week of the Boston Bruins' 2013 season, the team won both of the games they played—plus could possibly have won the third that was originally scheduled—and welcomed back Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Brad Marchand (above), all of whom had been injured in the course of games during the second week of play.
While still trying to fill the holes caused by injuries, the team also called up the third player drafted with picks from the famous Phil Kessel to Toronto Maple Leafs trade. Sure, Ryan Spooner grew up cheering for the Montreal Canadiens, but everyone can change their ways.
The Bruins met their longtime rival Canadiens for the first time this season, a game featured on NBC Sports Network's new Rivalry Wednesday spotlight. There's nothing quite like a Bruins-Habs game and the end result of this one did not disappoint the Black and Gold, even though the beginning wasn't quite so good.
Boston became a winter wonderland—or winter bedlam—just in time to force a two-stage postponement of the Bruins' scheduled meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Snowed-in Bruins took to Twitter instead. Andrew Ference shared some pictures of his neighborhood, everything capped in white, while Tyler Seguin wondered if he could eat a bowl of chili, which is pretty much the best food for cold weather.
However, the team was able to make it out of town and up to Buffalo to meet the Buffalo Sabres again, take home a win and make some history in the process. Here's a look back at the week that was.
Welcome, Ryan Spooner
Ryan Spooner was called up from the AHL Providence Bruins to help flesh out a Boston lineup that was suddenly in need of some substitutions after the injuries incurred against Buffalo and Toronto previously. The 21-year-old center has nine goals and 23 assists with Providence so far and became part of the Bruins organization with the famous Phil Kessel trade. (He was the second-round 2010 draft pick that was part of the deal.)
He got to have his NHL debut against the Canadiens, the team he cheered for as a kid before being drafted by Boston. Sure, he didn't score in that one game, and he was sent back down to Providence after the injured Bruins healed and returned to the lineup, but this isn't the last we've seen of Spooner.
By the way, with Spooner playing alongside Dougie Hamilton and Tyler Seguin that night, all three selections made from the Kessel trade were united for the first time.
A Late Burst of Energy
In their very first meeting this season with the Canadiens, the Bruins weren't playing like themselves at first. They tested Carey Price with just four shots in the entire first period, did manage to outshoot Montreal in the second and yet they found themselves down 1-0 heading into the final period of play. Something needed to change or else Boston could find themselves on the bad end of a shutout.So coach Claude Julien mixed up the lines a little bit. He sent Tyler Seguin out with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, a move that immediately paid dividends. Seguin scored 14 seconds into the third period, sticking out his tongue in victory, as seen above. He then helped Krejci score about two minutes later, a quick strike of two goals that put Boston ahead and kept them there to get the 2-1 victory.
TBL Game TBD
Boston was hit hard by the winter storm they called Nemo late in the week. The storm dumped great amounts of snow all over the city—sometimes in excess of two feet—and battered the city with hurricane-force winds. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and imposed a ban on nonessential driving, plus the MBTA train and bus services ended early on Friday and could not be restored for Saturday.
The Bruins were slated to play a matinee against the Lightning that day. First, the game's start time was moved to 7 p.m. the same day. Then, in a move that was the best idea for the safety of the most people, they decided to just postpone the game altogether. Some fans grumbled, but since Massachusetts was still in a state of emergency and many roads were still a mess, it was the right choice to make.
By the way, that game has now been rescheduled for April 25.
In the Bruins' rematch with the Sabres, there was no grudge match featuring John Scott. No one attempted to avenge the fight that Shawn Thornton lost, giving him a concussion. That was by Thornton's request and his teammates honored his wishes. Sure, there was one scrap, but instead the Bruins focused on winning on the scoreboard, not the penalty minutes tally. This is a strategy that worked.
Brad Marchand, returning to the lineup after being hurt against Toronto, scored his sixth goal of the season, a tally that leads the team. Patrice Bergeron did something the Bruins haven't been very good at doing lately when he scored on the power play, netting the eventual game-winning goal. Then Milan Lucic added an empty-netter for good measure and left town with a 3-1 win. The score might have been more lopsided in Boston's favor if not for the strong play of Ryan Miller, but still, it was a meaningful victory.
10 to Make History
Remember last season, when the Bruins had a ghastly 3-7-0 record to start their season as defending Stanley Cup champions? They have definitely turned it around in this shortened campaign in the biggest way possible.
Boasting an 8-1-1 record after their first 10 games, Boston has now notched its best 10-game start in the entire history of the franchise, which will turn 90 next year. Could this portend well for the future, not only in the rest of this regular season but also in the playoffs to come? Coach Julien said recently that there's no doubt his team is going to get even better, so only time will tell.