Bruins

Marchand jumping Capitals' Eller was the action of a Bruins leader

Marchand jumping Capitals' Eller was the action of a Bruins leader

BUFFALO - Brad Marchand is happy to play the villain’s role when he goes to the other 30 NHL rinks around the league.

He’ll twirl his imaginary mustache, insult a few opponents and do things that will irritate anybody and everybody who doesn’t have a rooting interest for the Bruins. Still, Marchand is also a leader on the Bruins, a prideful competitor and a guy that isn’t going to let other teams' players embarrass the Bruins on the ice.

So many around the league will thumb their nose at Marchand for his third-period fireworks Wednesday night when he jumped Lars Eller and bloodied him in a pretty one-sided fight where Eller didn’t really engage until partway through. But it was one of the few moments of genuine competitiveness and emotion for the Bruins on a night where they flat-lined for 60 minutes in a season-opener that’s always supposed to set the tone.

Marchand didn’t start on time just like everybody else in a Black and Gold uniform, but he finally found that fire in the third period after Eller did a spinning celebration past the B’s bench when it became a 7-0 game.

"It was the celebration. It was unnecessary,” said Marchand, explaining why he dropped Eller like a bad habit. “[Eller] took an angle in front of our bench and celebrated in a 7-0 game. So I just let him know."

When Eller blasted a slap shot at the Bruins net just a couple of moments later, Marchand had his moment to make his own statement, and he had the full backing of his head coach after the fact as well.

“[Marchand] is a proud guy,” said Cassidy. “I think Eller celebrated a little in a 7-0 goal and I think that’s his prerogative. Marchand let him know that it wasn’t acceptable and that’s that.”

Some will gnash their teeth and stomp their feet because it was Marchand who stepped up and said enough was enough, but to this humble hockey writer’s eyes, he looked a lot more like a leader than a pest in snapping at Eller. It’s also a fair bet that Eller won’t be doing that again to the Bruins bench anytime soon.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

Talking Points: Bruins' new-look David Krejci line pays off late in 3-2 win over Vegas

Talking Points: Bruins' new-look David Krejci line pays off late in 3-2 win over Vegas

GOLD STAR: David Krejci missed a couple of games with an upper-body injury, but made sure he returned for this final game ahead of the 10-day break for All-Star weekend and the bye week. And Krejci was a difference-maker. He scored the game-winner in the third period when he popped in a rebound of a Brandon Carlo point shot. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Krejci finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-1 rating with 18:04 of ice time, one shot on net, one takeaway and one blocked shots along with 6 of 12 face-off wins while centering Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman on a new-look line. It remains to be seen how the forward groups will be divided up when the Bruins come back from break, but things worked out pretty well in the 3-2 victory over Vegas on Tuesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins won the game, but did it in spite of a power play that struggled mightily. 

The B's man-advantage went 0-for-5 on the power play against a Vegas team that’s stepped up its aggressiveness on the penalty kill. Boston managed just three shots on net in all that time on the man-advantage. 

They still won in spite of it all, obviously, but the B’s special teams were lousy with a powerless power play and a penalty kill that allowed a PP goal to the Golden Knights. 

Now, the Bruins' power play gets 10 days to re-energize and perhaps figure out a few new tricks.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins trailed 2-1 headed into the third period and it didn’t appear it was going to be their night. Still, they managed to summon a little extra effort in that final 20 minutes, outshot Vegas 14-13 and scored a pair of goals to win in regulation rather than risk another overtime or shootout loss.

It was Jake DeBrusk who scored on a left-wing rush to tie things up in the third and then Krejci who won it in the final few minutes before the Golden Knights got desperate by pulling their goalie. It was certainly a different tack for the B’s in this one. Rather than blowing a lead as they’d done a few times over the past couple of weeks, they rallied in the third to win it. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Good job by Jeremy Lauzon to step up and fill in at a time when the Bruins needed a little more physical thump. Even better, Lauzon managed to score his second career NHL goal on a deep point shot that traveled through a few Vegas bodies on its way to the net for Boston’s first score. 

Lauzon finished with the goal along with a plus-2 rating, two shot attempts, four registered hits and a blocked shot in 15:38 of ice time while also filling a lead role on the penalty kill. Considering it was Lauzon’s first NHL appearance of the season, it was very good with the physical, gritty play that could lead to more looks this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22:53 – the Bruins leading ice time player was Brad Marchand among forwards and defensemen in a game that featured plenty of special-teams situations.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We did some good things [in] this first stretch. Enjoy yourself and get away wherever you’re going, mentally cleanse. But understand that [when] we get back, we get at it pretty quick.” –Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on his message to his Bruins players headed into the 10-day break.

Mind-blowing stat shows importance of Jake DeBrusk scoring for the Bruins

jake_debrusk_012120.jpg
USA TODAY Sports photo

Mind-blowing stat shows importance of Jake DeBrusk scoring for the Bruins

The Boston Bruins are often carried by the efforts of The Perfection Line. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak had accounted for 79 of the team's 166 goals entering Tuesday night's game and were a massive part of their hot start to the season.

But secondary scoring is important as well. And in particular, Jake DeBrusk getting goals tends to have a really positive impact on the Bruins.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

According to the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account, the Bruins are a remarkable 44-5-1 when DeBrusk scores in the regular season.

And in the playoffs, the Bruins are 6-3 when DeBrusk scores at least once. 

DeBrusk was a key for the Bruins in their 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. He scored the tying goal for the team early in the third period to afford them the opportunity to come from behind to win.

Moving forward, DeBrusk's scoring will be important. The Bruins are simply better when he produces goals and when the second line can impact the game. If this is the start of a hot streak for him, it could coincide with the B's getting hot.

Of course, they'll have to get through a lengthy All-Star break before that can happen. The Bruins won't play again until Jan. 31 when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets.