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.
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