What we learned in B's 6-3 win over Canucks
What we learned in Bruins' 6-3 win over Canucks: Resilience on road
Here’s what we learned from the Bruins' 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Centre on Monday night:
1) The Bruins continue to show heart, backbone and emotional toughness when handed adversity
The B’s tied things up in the second period on a hard-working goal from Zdeno Chara at the point with Jimmy Hayes screening in front of Ryan Miller, but that wasn’t the show of resiliency. Instead, Tuukka Rask allowed a soft goal to Alex Edler 21 seconds later off the rush at a bad angle, and once again the Bruins were trailing headed into the third period on the road in Vancouver. In the past, the B’s might have crawled into a shell and fallen down in the third period, but this team is playing with the highest levels of confidence. They outshot Vancouver 14-7 in the final 20 minutes and powered right on past the stunned Canucks by virtue of a hat trick from Brad Marchand. That had to be nightmare fuel for Canucks fans watching Public Enemy No. 1 Marchand strike them for a hat trick and put an exclamation point on his Hart Trophy candidacy at their expense. That's exactly the kind of mental toughness Boston is sporting these days with the playoffs dead ahead.
2) Some defensive slippage
The Bruins showed an ability to come back from a deficit, but part of that is because they showed an alarming lack of attention to detail against Vancouver’s top offensive players. Multiple times they mismanaged pucks and made overly aggressive choices with the Sedin Twins and Markus Granlund on the ic and those turned into the Sedins torching their defensive coverage before feeding to Granlund for the goals. While the Bruins are allowing just 2.13 goals per game in the 14 games under Bruce Cassidy, they are beginning to show some slippage in defensive areas like they did in the first period vs. Vancouver after scoring the first goal. That’s something the Bruins have to stay vigilant about and perhaps pull back the reins on the offensive aggression just a touch when the other team’s best scorers are on the ice, particularly if they are world class as the Sedins are.
3) Backes bounces back
David Backes continues to play at a very high level since being matched with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand as their right wing. Backed has three goals and 11 points in 14 games along with a whopping plus-13 rating during in that time. Backes was a force early Monday nigh by crashing hard to the front of the net and was close to scoring with his slot and rebound follow before having a Patrice Bergeron pass kick off his skate blade into the Vancouver net. It was another example of Backes fighting to get to the front and then watching as something good happened almost immediately. The projected 17 goals and 40 points perhaps aren’t quite as good as some envisioned from Backes in his first season with the Black and Gold, but he’s still got time to get up to the 20 goals and 40-50 points most expected from the 32-year-old when he first signed.
*Brad Marchand finished with a third period hat trick, four points and a plus-2 rating while energizing the Bruins offense in the final 20 minutes. He now has 25 goals in his past 28 games.
*David Backes finished with a goal and two points and had four shots on net – most of them early – while fighting to get to the front of the Boston net for gritty offensive chances. Backes helped the B’s get off to a good start before his linemates – Marchand and Patrice Bergeron – finished off the Canucks in familiar fashion.
*Patrice Bergeron set up Boston’s first goal with a dish from behind the Boston net, then picked up the helper by creating a rebound that set up Brad Marchand’s game-winner in the third period. Bergeron finished with two assists and a plus-2 rating in 19:58 of ice time and six shots on net along with 17 of 26 face-off wins in a typical dominant showing from No. 37.
*Bo Horvat looked like a young player caught in the headlights vs. Boston with just a single shot on net, a minus-2 rating and a pretty good spanking in the face-off circle (10-of-26) throughout the game.
*Ryan Miller wasn’t terrible, but letting in five goals – including four of them in the third period – isn’t exactly an example of shutdown goaltending either. Once again, the Bruins have Miller’s number as they have so many times in the past.
*No shots and no real presence for Peter Cehlarik in six-plus minutes of ice time with one big mistake getting too aggressive in one of the first period goals allowed to Markus Granlund. Cehlarik is looking more like a 21-year-old rookie who might not be able to handle the pressure of these games down the stretch.