Boston Bruins Week in Review: Week 5
A look back at Week Five
The fifth week of the 2013 NHL season was not very busy for the Boston Bruins. They played just two games in the span of a week and even enjoyed a day off in south Florida. However, they put up wins against both of Florida’s teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, in this less than hectic week gone by—something that hasn’t always been easy to do when the Bruins go to the Sunshine State.
They’ve done this pattern of consecutive road games against both Floridian squads 31 times since the Panthers joined the NHL in 1993 and improved their record against the Panthers to 7-2-1 when they also beat the Lightning in the previous game.
Before facing the Panthers, the Bruins met the Lightning for the first time this season and put up four goals, including two from Nathan Horton. Brad Marchand also extended his team lead in goals scored as Boston won 4-2.
After having some rest and relaxation at the house of team owner Jeremy Jacobs, a well-rested Bruins team beat the Panthers 4-1, their first win of a three-goal margin so far this season. Zdeno Chara’s highlight-reel goal helped turn the tide and ended up being the game-winner, too.
Both games were well-attended by members of Bruins Nation Southeast—at times, some of the crowd could be heard shouting “Tuuk!” whenever Tuukka Rask made a good save, just like back at TD Garden.
Now, as the Bruins schedule prepares to become as hectic as it’s ever been so far this season, here’s a look back at the last really quiet week for the team.
Bruins Strike Twice
When going to meet the Lightning for the first time this season, it was actually the Bruins who struck first and struck often. Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron (above, skating against former teammate Benoit Pouliot) had the team up 2-0 before five minutes of the first period had elapsed.
Granted, Tampa Bay did gradually whittle away at the lead as Steven Stamkos scored and Cory Conacher tied it up, but then Brad Marchand put up his team-leading ninth goal of the year to reclaim the lead and Horton added one more for the 4-2 win. The Bruins also stayed extremely proficient at killing penalties--in fact, they now hold the league record for best penalty kill after the first 15 games.
Horton Comes Close
Nathan Horton came very, very close to putting up a hat trick against the Lightning on Feb. 21. His first goal came just a minute and change into the first period—at one minute and 11 seconds exactly, actually—to give his team a lead, which is something they haven’t always played with this season.
Then he scored again at the start of the third, so his teammates tried very hard to get him empty net chances at the end of the game, a chance for him to maybe get that third goal. He took them, but failed to capitalize. Still, he was a big part of the 4-2 win and had his first multi-goal game of the season.
R&R with the Jacobses
After practicing in Sunrise, Fla. the day before the Panthers game, the Bruins took in some fun and food at the home of the Jacobs family. It’s a pretty sprawling estate—there’s a lake for fishing, a golf course, a basketball court, a tennis court, horse stables and space to ride around on dirt bikes, as Dougie Hamilton (above) did—and gave the guys a chance to relax before their schedule gets very busy.
Johnny Bucyk, who goes with the team on every road trip, and Harry Sinden were there too. This is what Sinden thinks of the Bruins team as he sees it: “They are an ego-less team…They’re a team as individuals who forget their egos and play as a team. And I think that’s a reflection of the personality of their coach.”
Plus, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin had a little fun, dangling their fishing rods in the frame when Gregory Campbell was being interviewed on camera.
A Balanced Diet
The Bruins found balanced scoring from three different forward lines—and a defenseman—to beat the Panthers 4-2 on Feb. 24. Milan Lucic’s first period goal gave the team the lead to play with yet again. Zdeno Chara then boosted that lead to 2-0 with his spin-o-rama goal. Plus, this time, the home team’s attempt to even up the score was thwarted at just one goal instead of a full tie.
In the second period, the Bruins were able to extend their lead on a power play goal from Chris Kelly, who finally got his first goal of the season. Better late than never, Kelly! Finally, to complete the Floridian sweep, Daniel Paille scored on the empty net late in the third period to push the Bruins ahead by three and seal the 4-1 win.
It was a beautiful goal and you should expect to see it on highlight reels for a while now. When Zdeno Chara picked up a pass from Brad Marchand while coming in at the blue line, he spun around Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau, kept the puck corralled on his stick and found a spot to put it in past Jacob Markstrom. Jack Edwards described it as like a ballerina move—although, it should be noted, male ballet dancers are called danseurs.
“Some guys said that was a nice goal, but I mean, I just try to stay focused on my game instead of who scores a goal and things like that,” he said after the game, humble as ever.
On the other hand, Tuukka Rask praised his captain for executing a move he’s personally seen before. “He’s done that on me at practice a couple of times,” he said with a smile.