Talking Points: Bergeron breaks through offensively
After not scoring any points in his last six games, Patrice Bergeron snapped out of his offensive funk with a second period power play goal that helped blow things wide open for the Black and Gold. It was a nice show of determination after Bergeron had hit the crossbar with one of his attempts at the doorstep just moments earlier, but the Bruins center just kept at it and finally broke through with his first power play point of the season. Bergeron finished with six shots on net, 10 shot attempts and 16-of-21 face-off wins while getting back to an even plus/minus rating for the season. The Bruins needed a little more out of Bergeron and they got it on Saturday night.
Just a brutal effort for the entire Winnipeg team in Boston on Saturday night. Dustin Byfuglien looked barely interested in playing on Brad Marchand’s power drive to the net, and one of Winnipeg’s top line guys, Nikolaj Ehlers, finished with a minus-3 rating and just a single shot on net. The Jets as a team didn’t have a single 5-on-5 shot on net in the entire second period, and only have seven shots on net in the first 40 minutes. They finally scored a goal in the waning moments on an Adam Lowry chance that was more charity goal than legitimate comeback attempt, and Winnipeg finished the game with the fewest shots on net (12) for a B’s opponent in a long, long time.
The big change for the Bruins was the second period after a frustrating first where Boston outshot the Jets by a 14-4 margin, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. They needed their big offensive dogs to start doing some damage, and that’s what happened in the middle 20 minutes starting with the Matt Beleskey goal. Then Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron got into the act, and the Black and Gold were rolling against a Winnipeg team that seemed barely interested in even taking the ice on Saturday night. Once the shots started falling, Boston had the upper hand and the Jets basically waved the white flag.
Zdeno Chara finished with a couple of assists, making a really nice decision on the stretch pass to Brad Marchand for the game’s second goal and was strong in his 22:26 of ice time in the win. None of Winnipeg’s big offensive guns were able to really get going, and Chara and Brandon Carlo kept things out of their end for the most part until the garbage time goal in the third period. Chara finished with two assists, three shot attempts, one hit and one blocked shot in a very effective performance at both ends of the ice. Chara has been very strong for the B’s this season, and he deserves some recognition for it.
BY THE NUMBERS
1 – the number of power play points for Patrice Bergeron on the season after scoring a power play goal in the second period of Saturday’s win. Bergeron had 12 goals and 25 PP points last season to put it in perspective.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“You need to stay with it, not get frustrated and eventually it’s going to go in. I was happy it was tonight, though. It’s great to finally get the pucks going in. I thought we had a lot of chances…especially lately.” – Patrice Bergeron, on snapping a six game pointless streak with a PP goal in the win over Winnipeg.