Boston Bruins Week in Review: Week 4
A look back at Week Four
Believe it or not, the Boston Bruins have already played a quarter of their 2013 NHL season. They hit the 12-game quarter mark earlier this past week against the Buffalo Sabres, their third meeting with the fellow Northeast Division team in a little more than two weeks.
But before the team got through 25 percent of their season, they had an unbelievable comeback against the New York Rangers on Feb. 12. At one point, the Bruins in a 3-0 hole that looked like it would be the final score. However, late in the third period, they found a burst of energy and started to surge. Brad Marchand scored a very helpful and timely goal to tie the game, force overtime and secure at least one point from the evening.
Keep an eye on Marchand: he's currently leading the team in goals and may be on a hot streak right now. He's even scored on the power play, which is still a weak spot for Boston as a whole.
However, the team failed to show the same third-period energy burst in that third game against the Sabres and lost, which means that two of the Bruins' four losses this season came from Buffalo. (The other two are courtesy of the Rangers, actually.)
They did make a little history a few days later, though, getting their first win ever inside Winnipeg's MTS Centre.
Then, many of the players and coach Claude Julien traveled to nearby Newtown, Conn., the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in December. A day off from school meant a day of fun for everyone in the town: kids doing street hockey exercises with pro players, the high school's varsity team giving all the Bruins team sweaters to wear, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, plus the act of just putting smiles on faces that could really use a smile.
Here's a look back at the week that was for the Bruins.
Coming Back at the New York Rangers
The Bruins found themselves in a very unenviable position against the Rangers in their third and final meeting of the regular season. Down 3-0 in the third period after a very fluky goal dribbled in past Tuukka Rask, it was starting to look like Valentine's Day 2012 all over again, when New York beat Boston 3-0 in TD Garden.
But then the home team decided that history would not repeat itself this day. David Krejci spoiled Henrik Lundqvist's shutout bid before the halfway mark of the third period, though it was after Rask was pulled for an extra attacker that the team really went to work.
First, Nathan Horton cut the deficit to one, which was invigorating enough. Less than a minute later, with regulation time dwindling and Rask still on the bench, Brad Marchand sank the game-tying goal and the Bruins held it in long enough to force overtime and then a shootout.
Sure, they eventually lost 4-3 in that shootout, but they didn't let history repeat itself and gave Rangers coach John Tortorella something to sweat about in the process--like he needs any help with that.
Little Ball of Goal-Scoring
Brad Marchand has often exceeded expectations. In his rookie season, he scored twice the amount of goals that the team brass expected of him and earned the Seventh Man Award for his efforts. His sophomore campaign saw him in the league's top five for plus-minus and his goal output was second best among his teammates. Now in his third season with the Spoked B, he's currently leading the team in goals scored with eight. By comparison, second-place Nathan Horton has exactly half of Marchand's output.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Little Ball of Hate can keep up this pace, but if he can, it will be much appreciated by his teammates and fans.
Beaten at Their Own Game
It seems like the Sabres are the Bruins' Achilles heel this season. Give them some credit, though: they did figure out how to keep Thomas Vanek at bay in their game on Feb. 15, holding him to just one measly shot on goal. His teammates, however, were not held back in that same way.
Though Dougie Hamilton scored his first-ever NHL goal—on the power play, even—and Rich Peverley had Boston up 2-1 at one point, the Sabres were the ones to come out with a very strong third period effort and defeat the Bruins 4-2.
The good news, perhaps, is that these two teams won't meet again until March 31.
An MTS Victory
Though the first goal of the Feb. 17 game against the Winnipeg Jets went to the home team, the Bruins started to stage a comeback and turn the tide of the game. Tyler Seguin (above) scored his third goal of the season, but then when Evander Kane made it look like it would be 2-1 Winnipeg heading into the final intermission, Daniel Paille answered with a tying goal less than 30 seconds later.
Back on the ice for the last period, there was some worry about arrested momentum on Boston's part, but that was quickly disproved when Marchand tore down the ice on a breakaway and tried to score. He was denied, but then a power play chance gave him what he needed. Yes, two power play goals in two consecutive games. It seems almost like a miracle.
The Bruins held on for the 3-2 win, the first ever for them inside the MTS Centre.
A Day of Peace
It's been a little more than two months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, a town whose name is now shorthand for discussing gun violence and how to prevent it. But as the good people of Newtown pick up the pieces and heal, the Bruins came into town for a day of good times and fun. Coach Claude Julien took seven of his players down to Connecticut for some old-fashioned street hockey, pictures, autographs and fun. They shed their Black and Gold sweaters, signed them and gave them away, receiving yellow and blue sweaters from Newtown's high school team in return.
Plus, the experience of outreach to Newtown isn't over yet. Next month, the team will bring Sandy Hook's vice principal, who is also a huge Bruins fan, to TD Garden to honor her before a game.