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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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ first regulation loss at home in 2019-20:

GOLD STAR: It isn’t going to happen very often, but Ian Cole turned out to be the single biggest contributor in a team-wide win for the Avalanche. It was Cole that smoked a slap shot past the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak to give Colorado a 2-1 lead in the second period, and he made certain his first goal of the season was an important one. Cole also blocked five shots in 17:17 of ice time and was part of a gritty, determined effort to protect the lead once the Avs got up 3-1 in the third. He mixed in a couple of hits and a couple of takeaways as well, and made some big plays in what was pretty much a perfect game overall for Colorado.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bruins take first home regulation loss vs. Avs, 4-1

BLACK EYE: There’s more than a few, but how about Danton Heinen just not making the plays that he needs to make when he’s in the lineup? Forget about the zero shots on net in 16:45 of ice time, with a number of them either getting blocked or missing the net. That’s nothing new when it comes to a player that’s barely averaging a shot on net for game. But he also turned the puck over behind the Boston net in a sequence that led to Cole’s game-winner as the Bruins began to run around in the defensive zone. It was that particular play that led Bruce Cassidy to lament that the attention to details was lacking for his players at this point in the season. If Heinen isn’t making the little plays, is a minus player and isn’t bringing any offense, then he isn’t worth having in the lineup.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission tied at 1-1 after only putting four shots on net, and should have had the kind of wakeup call that they needed to turn the intensity up a little bit. Instead they went through a second period where they again only put up four shots on net while falling behind by two goals headed into the final 20 minutes. The Avalanche only leveled five shots on net as well, but they scored on a pair of them and pounced all over Boston’s mistakes while playing a surprisingly disciplined, two-way game despite their explosive offensive players. This time around, the Bruins didn’t have any way to come back in the third period against a quality Colorado team that wasn’t going to fold for them.

#HaggBag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em

HONORABLE MENTION: One of the few players to put up an honest-to-goodness effort in the loss was the hard-hitting fourth liner, Chris Wagner. It was Wagner that redirected a John Moore point shot in the first period for his third goal of the season that gave the Bruins an initial lead in the game. Wagner led the Bruins with five registered hits, scored on the only shot on net he had in the game and won 5-of-10 face-offs that he took in his 12:39 of ice time. The shame was that there weren’t enough other players that rose to the level of urgency and compete that Wagner was showing throughout the game for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 – The home point streak (12-0-5) is over for the Bruins as the Avs handed them their first regulation loss on home ice this year, and their first since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues almost six months ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now. We’ve just got to wake up and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us.” –Bruce Cassidy, lamenting the lack of urgency in the B’s game as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Avalanche.

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.


BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)





At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

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