Two representatives from the Boston Bruins are currently lighting up the scoresheet for their home country of Canada in the World Cup of Hockey.
We are so accustomed to seeing the Black and Gold’s top offensive tandem of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand dominate teams within the confines of the National Hockey League. Now, Bergeron and Marchand are doing it on an international level alongside one of the best players in the sport, Sidney Crosby.
Comprising two-thirds of Canada’s number one line, they have posted a combined three goals and two assists through the first three preliminary-round games of the tournament. Although Bergeron has had ample experience on this stage by participating in the Winter Olympics, this is Marchand’s first true thrust into the spotlight as he is representing his home country for the World Cup of Hockey.
In its preliminary-round tilts, Canada knocked off the United States by a final score of 4-2. This all but ended the championship aspirations for Team USA. The host country also defeated Team Europe just one day later by a final score of 4-1. Canada posted a 6-0 rout of the Czech Republic this past weekend on the opening night of the tournament.
The dominant duo continued to pounce on the competition this past Saturday night when Canada defeated Russia for a spot in the World Cup of Hockey finals. Marchand added another two goals while Bergeron picked up his first two assists of the tournament in the game.
While Bergeron and Marchand continue to get loose and stay sharp by playing for their country, the Bruins will begin their preseason schedule this coming Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the championship game of the tournament taking place on Oct. 1, there is a great chance that Bergeron and Marchand will miss a good portion of training camp and the preseason schedule.
However, the main focus for the Bruins coming into this season from an offensive perspective is finding the right linemate for Bergeron and Marchand. Whomever that may be, with all due respect, will be no Crosby by any means.
David Pastrnak and David Backes will be candidates for that spot; both players represented their respective countries in the World Cup of Hockey as well. If there is one positive that we can take from Team USA being eliminated so early, Backes can return to Boston and get acclimated on the ice with his new teammates.
As for Pastrnak, he is coming into this season with some pretty high expectations. The soon-to-be, third-year forward recorded 15 goals and 26 points in an injury-plagued 2015-16 campaign. If he gets the opportunity to play on the top line with Bergeron and Marchand, that can be a very formidable trio for the Bruins this coming season.
That said, there is still a grueling training camp and seven-game preseason slate to look forward to before any decisions will be made. The one certainty is that Bergeron and Marchand have established themselves as two of the best players in the NHL, as made evident by their recent tear through the World Cup of Hockey thus far.
The Bruins will open up the regular season on Oct. 13 against the Blue Jackets, where the first home game of the season will not take place until Oct. 20 against the New Jersey Devils.