Bruins

Talking Points: Bergeron continues to light the way

Talking Points: Bergeron continues to light the way

GOLD STAR: Who else but Patrice Bergeron? No. 37 has 13 goals in 15 games since the start of January, scored two more big goals in Wednesday night’s win over the Rangers and also made a huge defensive play in the first period to rob Vinni Lettieri of a goal at the doorstep. Not only all that, but Bergeron led the Bruins with seven shots on net and 11 shot attempts in his 18:10 of ice time as a dominant offensive force that never relented against the Rangers. The most amazing thing about it all was that No. 37 actually struggled in his usual role of dominant play with just a 6-for-16 performance on the draw to go along with everything he did offensively. It seems like Bergeron has been at the top of so many of the good things for the B’s lately, and that was the case again in New York.

BLACK EYE: It’s not often that the Bruins chase Henrik Lundqvist out of a game, but that’s exactly what they did on Wednesday after hitting their stride in the second period. The first couple of goals were pretty legit scores by the Bruins even if King Henrik was a little overactive on the first one scored by Riley Nash. But Patrice Bergeron beat Lundqvist from long distance with a five hole goal that was completely soft serve, and then Tim Schaller dangled through a pair of Rangers defenders before flipping a shot past the Rangers No. 1 goalie. That was it for Lundqvist, who was pulled after allowing the four goals on 16 shots behind a Rangers defense that really wasn’t putting in much of an effort in front of him.

TURNING POINT: Anton Khudobin was massive in the first period when it was still a close game, and the Rangers were taking advantage of a lot of uncharacteristically good chances against the Bruins defense. Khudobin made a flurry of saves to deny Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash after Nash had already scored a pretty good-looking goal earlier in the period, and he kept things close until the Bruins got untracked in the second half of the first period. This is not the first time that Khudobin stood tall for the Bruins while they got their bearings on the second half of back-to-back games, and it continues to be a huge boost for the Black and Gold.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tim Schaller only had the one shot on net, but what a shot it was for the New Hampshire native. The Bruins winger took the puck on a dangling rush to the net, completely faked out both Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith and then beat a potential future Hall of Game goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist. It was Schaller’s goal that knocked Lundqvist out of the game and pushed the game into the blowout category, and it was also Schaller’s dangling beauty that immediately rose to the top of his own personal highlight reel package. With goals from Schaller and Sean Kuraly and a pair of goals from Patrice Bergeron, there was an impressive spread in scoring up and down the lineup. The score also gives fourth line winger Schaller a new career-high at the NHL level with his eighth goal of the season.    

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – the number of consecutive games where David Pastrnak has a point after racking up an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s first goal. Pastrnak became the first Bruins player to post two point streaks of at least 10 games in a single season since Cam Neely in 1993-94.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “That first period, it was pretty even and then we started moving the puck and established ourselves much better, establishing the forecheck and placing pucks to establish our game and make more executions. We scored some goals that put us in a good spot going into the third period.” –Zdeno Chara, on a rundown of how the Bruins/Rangers game went from tight first period contest to third period blowout.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins featured prominently on NBC national schedule

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File Photo

Bruins featured prominently on NBC national schedule

The Boston Bruins are coming off back-to-back playoff seasons, so they won’t be any strangers to the national television audience in the upcoming NHL season.

The Bruins are set to be on NBC or NBCSN 14 times in nationally televised games during the 2018-19 season including the Jan. 1 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame, and their Oct. 3 season opener against the reigning Cup champion Washington Capitals in DC. The 14 games are tied with the New York Rangers for the fifth-most in the NHL behind only the Blackhawks, Capitals, Flyers and Penguins.

The B’s season opener vs. the Caps will actually kick off NBC’s NHL coverage for the regular season, which is set to include a whopping 109 televised games.

MORE BRUINS

Other highlights from the NBC Networks broadcast schedule include a home game against the Atlantic Division rival Montreal Canadiens on Monday, January 14, a road game against the defending Western Conference Champion Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, February 20, and a home tilt on Thursday Feb. 28 against the Tampa Bay Lightning team that eliminated them in the playoffs.

Here’s the rest of the national television 2018-19 schedule for the Black and Gold that certainly has some games to circle on the ole hockey calendar:  

Bruins Games Broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, October 3: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, October 17: Boston Bruins at Calgary Flames, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, January 1: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks (Winter Classic), 1 p.m., NBC

Monday, January 14: Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, January 16: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, February 3: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals, 12:30 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, February 6: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers, 8 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, February 12: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m., NBCSN

Monday, February 18: Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, February 20: Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday, February 28: Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, March 10: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, March 27: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, March 31: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Morning Skate: Mikita's legacy extends beyond the ice

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Morning Skate: Mikita's legacy extends beyond the ice

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the fog officially rolled in this morning.  

*NBC Sports announced their 109-game schedule for the NHL season, and it all starts with the Bruins season opener on Oct. 3 against the Washington Capitals. The Wednesday Night Rivalry games will be done away with and in its place Wednesday Night Hockey is going to feature a more diverse collection of teams and locations featuring non-traditional markets. It’s a great idea and completely called for given the emergence of teams like the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers on the lasting legacy of the recently passed Chicago Blackhawks great Stan Mikita when it comes to his work in the community.

*Dylan Larkin got a pretty good deal from the Detroit Red Wings that was deserved given his youth and his production to this point. So why on Earth are we writing 1,000 word think pieces on this? Yeah, I don’t know either.

*Speaking of the Red Wings, it sounds like Henrik Zetterberg may be a giant question mark for this upcoming NHL season based on his health. While it’s a big blog to the Red Wings competitiveness for next season, it might be the best thing for a team that’s still nowhere near competing for a Stanley Cup at this point.

*Three big questions facing the Edmonton Oilers as they ready for a massive season that will undoubtedly have jobs on the line based on an expected return to the playoffs.

*For something completely different: Well, this is one way to discourage cruise ships from going by your coastal home.