Bruins

B's hoping 'one of those runs' coming for streaky Jake DeBrusk after busting slump

B's hoping 'one of those runs' coming for streaky Jake DeBrusk after busting slump

TORONTO – The Bruins have been badly in need of secondary scoring all season long and it looks like Jake DeBrusk’s contributions might be picking up.

DeBrusk tossed the monkey off his back by scoring his first goal of the season in Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, and truth be told the young left winger could have easily had two or three goals in the big divisional game.

DeBrusk was that active, involved and in the middle of scoring chances all throughout the game in addition to his goal-scoring hookup with Charlie Coyle at the end of the first period. Part of it was certainly about good skating legs, but plenty of it was also about fighting to get to the front of the net where the scoring chances come fast and furiously.

“I felt like I was playing a lot too. Even though I scored late in the first I think that definitely helps my game and helps relax certain things,” said DeBrusk, who had five shots and a couple of hits in 21:13 of ice time. “I think I had a breakaway in one of my first shifts and I missed it. I just tried to stick with and then [Coyle] made a great play pretty much getting it through two guys to me at the backdoor. To see it go in was nice and you’re just trying to build. I felt like it was my time to push the envelope in that aspect, but obviously it wasn’t enough to get use the win.”

DeBrusk had a breakaway chance that he wasn’t able to put away earlier in the first period and he missed a power play chance while wide open on the backdoor when he simply couldn’t convert on the pass at the net. After the game DeBrusk was faulting himself a bit for failing to convert in what was eventually a one-goal loss for the Bruins, but his head coach also rightly pointed to his streaky nature that might have been rekindled by finally lighting the lamp.

“Jake was around the puck a lot and he could have had more than one if he’d had a little luck,” said Cassidy. “It’s what we want to see even if the puck isn’t going in. It’s the maturity thing where you keep pushing and you keep doing the right things to get rewarded, and you saw that tonight. We know how he can get with the streakiness and the puck was finding him tonight. So maybe it’s one of those runs, so it’s good to see with him.

“It’s good for his development if he just keeps playing. It’s a long year. It’s 82 games. So you can’t get too upset if you don’t like the look of your stat line. You just keep plugging away. He’s a good player and he’s going to get it done.”

Certainly, it’s been a challenge for DeBrusk with David Krejci in and out of the B’s lineup with injuries to start this year. But DeBrusk did score 27 goals last season, and the fact he hooked up with Coyle on some scoring chances on Saturday night bodes well for the chemistry between those two forwards. DeBrusk’s overall effort in Toronto points toward a player that might be ready to go off on a little scoring spree to help spread around the offense for the Black and Gold.

HAGGERTY: Two low-cost options for B's scoring woes>>>

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Is it time to start getting worried about Bergeron's lower body injury?

Is it time to start getting worried about Bergeron's lower body injury?

Is it time to get nervous about Patrice Bergeron if you’re a Bruins fan?

Maybe so.

Bergeron, 35, took the ice at the Prudential Center in New Jersey for the Tuesday morning skate ahead of the game against the New Jersey Devils and he was declared a game-time decision. Bruce Cassidy said that Bergeron would take the warm-up and then decide his availability.

"He felt a lot better today, but I don’t want to confirm it just yet,” Bruce Cassidy said to reporters in New Jersey after the morning skate. Cassidy was then asked if they might be a little careful about playing Bergeron in back-to-back situations when he does come back. “It’ll be his call. He’s been around a long time. He knows his body better than we do, so we’ll talk about it. Obviously, I wouldn’t say it automatically that we would do it, but it’s something we’d have to consider so that he’s as healthy as possible going forward.

“We talked about that this summer. We talked about that with a few players because of the long playoff run last year. We may have to look into that.”

Instead, Bergeron missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury suffered last weekend and all are left to wonder if it’s for precautionary reasons against a bottom-feeder New Jersey team, or if it’s because the old groin problems have cropped up for him again. The mere fact that Bergeron missed the warm-up after the Bruins expected him to take it this morning, is a warning sign that the injury didn't respond as they were hoping it would. 

Certainly, a “load management” type plan with Bergeron would be smart as the B's hope to have him at his level best when it matters most down the stretch and into the playoffs, where last spring the groin issues dogged him in the  Stanley Cup Final.

The concern is that Bergeron could possibly again be dealing with the groin issue that over the summer needed a PRP (blood-platelet plasma) injection to get him healthy for training camp. If that is indeed the case, and it appeared to be when he tweaked his lower body while getting hauled down on an offensive zone face-off on a second-period power play in Toronto, then this might be something the Bruins and Bergeron will have to manage going forward.

That seemingly is the only thing that could slow down the Bruins, who sit atop the Atlantic Division at 12-3-5 going into Tuesday night, and a Perfection Line that’s been routinely dominating opponents the first month-plus of the season.

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NHL Highlights: Bruins find their stride in 5-1 domination of Devils

NHL Highlights: Bruins find their stride in 5-1 domination of Devils

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 5, Devils 1

IN BRIEF: For the most part, the Bruins dominated all aspects of the game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. David Pastrnak scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season, while Matt Grzelcyk tallied his first two of the 2019-20 campaign. Tuukka Rask was solid in goal with 25 saves, giving the B's every opportunity for the road win.  BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 13-3-5 (31 points)

HIGHLIGHTS

GRZELCYK'S FIRST OF THE YEAR GETS B'S GOING:

14 SECONDS LATER, PASTRNAK'S BLAST MAKES IT 2-0:

BLAKE COLEMAN CUTS BOSTON'S LEAD IN HALF:

PASTRNAK SCORES HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT: 

MATT GRZELCYK GOES BAR DOWN FOR HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT:

UP NEXT: 

Vs. Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, 7 p.m., NESN
Vs. Minnesota Wild, Saturday, 7 p.m., NESN

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