When the clock struck three minutes remaining in last night’s game vs the Ottawa Senators, most Bruins fans were probably happy to see that any sort of three goal swing in the score was not likely to be taking place.
They were probably even happier to see a full sixty minutes of dominating hockey by the Black and Gold, who on the heels of last minute turn-around’s in their previous two tilts, governed the Senators and the pace of the game from start to finish.
On the back of Patrice Bergeron who recorded his first career hat trick twice in one game, the Bruins led 2-0 after the first, and 5-0 after the second. Bergeron had been temporarily credited with his third goal of the night near the end of the second period, which was actually a redirection in front of the net from a Brad Marchand centering pass that went off an Ottawa player’s skate.
The confusion on who actually scored on the play didn’t stop the Garden faithful from celebrating as hats rained down for minutes on end before the ice was cleared the first time only to have the goal credited to Marchand.
“To be honest… I know we were both battling in front and it hit something, for sure, a skate, and Marchy told me it hit my skate so I thought I had it, but to be honest I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure,” explained Bergeron.
But in the third period when Bergeron battled for a loose puck along the sideboard and ripped a shot past Mike Brodeur it was the real deal, and there were still plenty of hats to go around.
“Bergy and I were joking after the game,” Marchand added. “We didn’t think any fan was going to leave tonight with a hat on their head. But it is great for Bergy he deserved that.”
“I don’t really stop and think about those kind of individual goals, but it’s always nice to have it out of the way,” said Bergeron. “I’m trying to get some momentum, and it’s always huge, I think. Everyone did a great job today. You know, all the lines were going, we were all moving our feet well, our forecheck was great, and, you know, it showed. Our puck possession time was pretty good all night, and it helped a lot.”
More important to the Bruins than Bergeron’s hat trick was the statement they made with their controlling play. For a team with it’s past three games void of much identity, the 6-0 win over the Senators was proof of the existence of a hard working, gritty, hockey machine that when running on all cylinders is a force to be reckoned with.
“Even after the first 20 or 40 minutes of tonight’s game, you don’t want to have a…at the end of the night count regrets that you played well for 40 and bad for 2,” said captain Zdeno Chara who chipped in with an assist on the evening. “You just want to have a good feeling after the game that you really played a solid 60 minutes.”
From puck possession to penalty kill the Bruins never seemed to falter. Not even when Shawn Thornton took on a bigger and probably more mentally unstable Matt Carkner, who recently made headlines for flicking his own blood at players on the New York Rangers bench after an altercation. Thornton and Carkner exchanged haymakers for a solid minute in a goosebump inducing bout, which seemed more at place outside the Bell n’ Hand at closing time than anything regularly practiced in a professional sports league.
Bruins Coach Claude Julien seemed to think his club benefited from being on the right end of a stunning comeback a night earlier in Pittsburgh saying “I think coming in everyone had a lot of confidence just the way last night ended and I think everyone was excited just to come right back to the rink today. I think we had a good feeling in our locker room before and I don’t think there was any doubt we were going to come out and have a good showing. It was great to get off to a good start, get a lead early on, and just kind of be able to build on it.”
The Bruins hope to keep the momentum swinging in their favor when the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers come to town on Thursday. Hold onto your hats.