Bruins

Bruins' prolific top line isn't going anywhere for a while

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Bruins' prolific top line isn't going anywhere for a while

BOSTON – The Bruins offense has churned out 22 goals in their last four games, and the top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have accounted for 13 of their 22 tallies thus far this season.

That’s in line with the yeoman’s work that the Perfection Line did last season while pacing the offense for the Black and Gold with all three forwards topping 30 goals on the season, and it looks like an ascending Pastrnak could make them even more prolific this season. Still, it makes the Bruins offense a little top heavy as it most definitely was once Boston got to the playoffs against better teams like Toronto and Tampa Bay, and that begs the question as to whether it might be better to spread the offense around a little bit.

The thought of dropping Pastrnak to the second line with David Krejci has been there since the start of training camp, but the preseason injury to Bergeron scrapped any plans of taking a look at alternatives to a loaded top line. Now after watching Pastrnak jump out to seven goals in the first five games and Bergeron averaging a couple of points per game, Cassidy said he’s probably a safe distance away from breaking the trio up anytime soon.

“Right now, like I said, we’re going to leave it alone, so I guess farther away [from a change]. We’re trying to – we know what we’ve got in our fourth line every night, our first line – we’re just trying to get that second line, who fits best with Krech [David Krejci] and maybe Jake [DeBrusk] on the right,” said Cassidy. “Maybe our answer is right there, just switching wingers and seeing who grows into the left-wing spot. I think I’ve said all along I always felt Ryan [Donato] and Danton [Heinen], their best position is left wing.

“Can they play the right? So, now let’s try Jake over there. [Joakim] Nordstrom is just another one, kind of evolved into where he’s done a good job there, so it’s probably a little bit farther away right now. I believe there will be a time where we look at it. I just don’t see it right now.”

Watching DeBrusk and Anders Bjork finally get on the board to get goals from all four lines in the win over Detroit certainly makes the argument that the Bruins are beginning to find their diversified scoring. Now the question will be whether the second and third lines, as currently constituted, can generate that offense against the stronger teams around the league, and not just whip up on weak sisters like Buffalo, Ottawa, Edmonton and Detroit.

The only way to find that out is to play the games and adjust accordingly, but for right now the Perfection Line isn’t going anywhere except upward and onward in the scoring column. 

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Bruins-Flames Talking Points: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand spark B's after sluggish start

Bruins-Flames Talking Points: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand spark B's after sluggish start

GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron helped the Bruins get back almost by himself after they fell behind by a 2-0 score to the Calgary Flames. Bergeron scored a pair of goals in the first six minutes of the game to withstand the three-goal barrage from the Flames, and now has goals in five consecutive games and seven in his last seven games during a red-hot offensive period.

Bergeron finished with two goals, the plus-1 rating, three shots on net and three takeaways in 15:59 of ice time. He won 13-of-19 face-offs in a dominant showing in pretty much every facet of the game. In other words, it was just another great effort from No. 37 in another win for the Bruins.

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BLACK EYE: No shots, no hits and no anything from Sean Monahan in 19:31 of ice time for the Flames in a nothing performance from one of Calgary’s best players. It was Monahan that failed to tie up  Bergeron on his second goal of the night after a David Pastrnak shot bounced off the end boards with a carom right to Bergeron in front.

Really, it was a team-wide no-show for the Flames after scoring the first three goals in the opening seven minutes of the first period. After that they managed just a handful of shots in the second period before a better third, but they never got another goal past Jaroslav Halak after Brad Marchand's go-ahead goal.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins clearly weren’t ready to go at the start of the game as they allowed a goal 20 seconds into the game and then fell behind by two goals less than three minutes into the first period. Perhaps Halak could have made a better attempt to stop the shot on Calgary’s second goal, but it was still a scorched one-timer on an odd-man rush. The goals allowed were much more about lax defense by the Bruins even if Halak allowed three goals on six shots faced in the first period.

After that, though, the B’s defense tightened up and went into shutdown mode after allowing one more goal in the first period. Once they got through that rough opening few minutes, the Flames offense was held down and the soft Calgary defense was exposed by the Bruins en route to the one-goal win for the Black and Gold.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand ended up with the game-winner when he scored the lone goal in the second period after redirecting a Brandon Carlo point shot. Marchand did a nice job of stepping into traffic to redirect the outside shot, but it was also a byproduct of Calgary failing to lift his stick once he got ideal position in front of the net.

Marchand finished with a goal, two points and a plus-1 rating in 18:36 of ice time, had five shots on net and had a hit and a takeaway in a very active game for the entire Perfection Line. Give Marchand and Bergeron credit for refusing to allow the Bruins to lose even after they dropped behind by a couple of goals just minutes into a wild, crazy game out in Calgary.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of teams to win a game in NHL history after allowing three goals in the first four minutes of the game. The B’s became that seventh team when they pulled out the 4-3 win in Calgary.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’m a physical player, so those games are comfortable. I’m just trying to help the team win. It was really physical. It was a good game to be a part of for sure.” –Jeremy Lauzon on the night where he got in his first NHL fight with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.

Watch Jeremy Lauzon drop gloves with Matthew Tkachuk for first NHL fight

Watch Jeremy Lauzon drop gloves with Matthew Tkachuk for first NHL fight

Jeremy Lauzon officially has his first NHL fight under his belt.

The 22-year-old tussled with Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk during the second period of Friday night's game to mark the first bout of his NHL career. Tkachuk certainly gave Lauzon a challenge, but the Boston Bruins defenseman held his own.

Watch below:


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Not a bad first scrap for the B's youngster.

While Tkachuk may have won the fight, Lauzon and the Bruins were the winners in the end as they defeated the Flames 4-3 in a thriller. Boston now has won 11 of its last 12 games.