There’s an old adage that says,”One person can make a difference.” For the Boston Bruins it seems like that one person is veteran journey man Lee Stempniak, who the Bruins acquired from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline on February 29th for a second and fourth round pick. Stempniak, who is no stranger to changing teams, this was his third consecutive year being traded at the deadline, was leading the Devils’ in scoring with 41 points in 63 games.

Boston has earned at least one point in every game since Stempniak has joined their team and a total of 12 points out of a possible 14. Stempniak has been the perfect addition to the Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand line. His style of play compliments the defensive specialist Bergeron and the scrappy goal scorer Marchand. The line has scored 18 points in the 6 games that they have been together.

“Lee’s been around the league for quite a while, and his game itself is pretty consistent, and he’s a pretty smart player,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Stempniak adjusting to playing alongside Bergeron and Marchand. “He adapts very easily, so I wasn’t surprised to see how well he fit in. When you watch him play, it’s almost an automatic that he’d be a good fit on that line. So, one of the reasons we went and got him, we thought he’d be a good fit there.”

Defenseman Kevan Miller on whether he thinks there is a correlation between the wins and getting past the trade deadline, “Yeah I think it helps. You know obviously Stempniak stepped right in there, he’s done a great job. So I think you know when new guys come in, everybody feels comfortable with them, that obviously helps the team.”

In their Saturday matinee matchup against the New York Islanders, the Bruins continued their point scoring streak, adding two more with a 3-1 regulation win. This win improved Boston’s home record to .500, for the first time this calendar year.

The Bergeron, Marchand, Stempniak line didn’t register a point in Saturday’s victory, however they did see their teammate and young prospect David Pastrnak score 2 goals.

Pastrnak on what has been contributing to his success lately, “You know I’m just trying to focus on the small details, you know play good in the D and make smart decisions. You know I play with two great guys and really high skills, so just focusing to fill in the line. You know twice they found me and it was easy for me to just put the puck in the net.”

Stempniak, Pastrnak, and all the Bruins look to continue their winning streak as the head out west to take on the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

About The Author

Heath Whelan is a high school English teacher and lifelong hockey fan.

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