Talking Points: Bruins sweep season series vs. Sabres
Patrice Bergeron has had his offensive issues this season, and they were well-documented. But credit where it’s due that Bergeron has stepped up with three goals in his last five games, and scorched a power play goal in the second period that helped the Bruins build up a 3-0 lead in the game. Bergeron finished with five shots on net and six attempts in 19:08 of ice time, and won 15-of-24 draws in a typically dominant Bergeron-like performance. The offensive surge for No. 37 couldn’t have come at a better time for both the player and the team, and also it’s allowed the power play to begin producing as well. He had to eventually start stirring up some offense this season and now he’s doing it.
Zero shots on net and a minus-2 rating for Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian in 23:54 of ice time. For a player that also has the size and the ability to play the physical game, one registered hit also isn’t much to write home about for the Buffalo D-man. Bogosian and the Sabres struggled to really play at a high level and match Boston’s intensity early in the game, and that’s probably why Jack Eichel had a meltdown in the Sabres dressing room following a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Black and Gold over the last few days. There were too many players like Bogosian that seemed to be going through the motions rather than going high effort.
After slow starts in each of the last few games that forced them into “catch-up mode”, the Bruins finally got the good start they’d been looking for over the last few weeks. It all started with Frank Vatrano striking at just 1:28 into the first period with a wrist shot from the right wing circle scoring area where he doesn’t miss all that much, and then the Bruins were off and running. They outshot the Sabres by a 9-5 margin in the opening 20 minutes, took the lead into the first intermission and then built on it with a couple more goals in the second period. But it all started with the B’s finally being ready to play right out of the starting gate.
Jack Eichel was outstanding for the Sabres in 21:44 of ice time, and clearly was trying to inspire his Buffalo teammates with his efforts. Eichel was the only Buffalo player to get on the scoreboard with his one-timer snipe at the end of the second period, and finished with nine shot attempts in an active game within the offensive zone. Eichel also had a hit, a couple of takeaways and a couple of blocked shots to go along with 8-of-13 face off wins in defeat. Best of all the Chelmsford native was something some leadership and emotion after the game yelling, slamming equipment and exiting the dressing room without comment after being so thoroughly disappointed with his team’s performance. The Sabres could use a lot more of that right now.
BY THE NUMBERS
1: This season is the first time in the long history of the Bruins/Sabres rivalry that Boston has swept the season series from the Sabres. Buffalo was the last NHL team that the Bruins had yet to sweep in a season series.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It’s nice to get the results. You don’t second guess yourself as much. You try and do the right things all over the ice, but I obviously know that offense has to be a part of my game.” -- Patrice Bergeron, after scoring one of Boston’s three goals and notching his third goal in the last five games.