Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins win
David Pastrnak and Tyler Seguin were featured by NBC on their national broadcast as the two “stars” on Star Sunday in Dallas, but it was Patrice Bergeron that showed what a true superstar looks like at the height of his powers. Bergeron finished with a pair of goals to go along with three points, and scored the eventual game-winner in the second period when he beat Jordie Benn one-on-one in front of the net before redirecting a Brad Marchand shot past Kari Lehtonen. In all he finished with two goals, three points and a plus-3 rating to go along with five shots on net, 10 shot attempts, two blocked shots and 16-of-22 face-off wins. Bergeron was the best player on the ice and continues his surge over the last couple of months after struggling in the first half of the year.
There are plenty of culprits on a team when they allow six goals in a game, but it’s also tough to blame the goaltender when the majority of goals against were tips and redirections in front of the net. So we’ll spare Kari Lehtonen and instead foist some blame on the shoulders of Jason Spezza for a “meh” performance for Dallas. He was a minus-2 with just a couple of shots on net while not making much of a ripple offensively, and was 2-for-7 in the face-off circle for a Stars team that was dominated beginning-to-end by the Bruins aside from a five minute or so stretch in the second period. It’s been that kind of year for Spezza, however, with eight goals and a minus-15 rating in 50 games this season.
The Bruins slipped back a little bit in the second period after a strong start and actually allowed the Stars to tie things up at 2-2 apiece, but they never looked back after that. The Bruins went right back to work scoring a pair of second period goals to rebuild their two-goal lead and didn’t stop scoring until they’d posted six scored on the defensively bereft Dallas hockey club. It took less than three minutes for Frank Vatrano and Patrice Bergeron to get back into gear and get the B’s moving forward again, so they could make it six of a possible eight points on their week-long West Coast road trip.
Torey Krug won’t be a lot of the star attention on a day like this, but his three assists and consistently strong passes moving the puck up ice are a big part of Boston’s recent renaissance. Krug finished with the three helpers, including a great stretch pass that kick-started Bergeron’s second goal, along with a plus-1 rating in 18:40 of ice time, and now has eight assists and a plus-5 rating in seven games under Bruce Cassidy. He’s been excellent both 5-on-5 and on the power play and again looks like a player reborn under a different coaching a different system that’s more tailored to his strengths.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 – the number of consecutive games that the Bruins have scored in the first period, and within that streak the suddenly quick-starting Black and Gold scored first in all four games on the successful road swing.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I think we showed a lot of character during the road trip. It’s not an easy trip playing against some big, heavy and physical teams. But I thought we battled through it. We lost that game in Anaheim, but we got right back to it and bounced back against LA.” –Patrice Bergeron to reporters in Dallas after B’s took three of four games on road swing through the West.