May 4, 2019; Boston, MA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) and left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrate after a third period gaol against the Carolina Hurricanes. Credit: Brian Fluharty-Inside Hockey
Bruins Respond To Criticism, But Was It Justified To Begin With?
The thought of silencing the critics can be compared to true elation and euphoria. When the public perception of your production is questioned, you would do anything to keep the negativity to a minimum. The Boston Bruins did just that this past Thursday night.
While securing a huge 5-4 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, the B’s simultaneously ended a three-game, five-on-five goal scoring drought. Over the course of those three games, the Bruins were getting criticized for not scoring. That accusation was a bit unfair.
Boston was able to notch goals on the power play and while being short-handed, so the production was there. In fact, being able to produce on special teams is an important part of winning in the National Hockey League. However, the consensus was that the B’s were doing everything but scoring.
Okay, that is one theory. It sure as heck was not for a lack of trying. Through four games this season, the Bruins currently rank fifth in the NHL with 33.8 shots per game. Even without 48-goal scorer David Pastrnak in the lineup due to injury and offensive guru Torey Krug playing elsewhere this season, the Bruins have looked potent.
Fact, not opinion.
Teams hit stretches of bad luck all the time when the puck will just not bounce the way you want it to. At the same time, there are points in the schedule where you just so happen to run into defensively stingy squads who have it buckled down in their own end. The Bruins took on the New Jersey Devils in the first two games of this season, a team that is ranked in the top half of the NHL this year with 2.50 goals against per game. Up next were the New York Islanders, and they are ranked number one in the NHL with 1.50 goals against per game.
There are nights where defense just outweighs offense.
The Bruins have enough firepower on offense—even without Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase in the lineup—to keep themselves in games throughout the regular season. They also have arguably the best goaltending tandem with Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, who have certainly done their part in shutting things down to the best of their abilities between the pipes.
The first three games of the regular season for Boston were highly contested and could have gone either way. The B’s could very well be sitting pretty with a perfect record through four games. Yes, they could also possess a winless record by using that logic, so let us just take the record for what it is right now.
Thursday night’s game against the Flyers was a more accurate portrayal of what this team can do. The Black and Gold put together goals from four different scorers (three of which came during five-on-five play), clutch goaltending down the stretch, and a victory sealed in the shootout…all of which were questions stemming from last season and into the early parts of this season.
Now with a winning record and right in the thick of things in the East Division, the Bruins resembled a strong team playing on TD Garden ice for the first time in almost a year.