Here are Joe Haggerty's talking points after a resounding win by the Bruins on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden...
GOLD STAR: Who to pick on the Perfection Line? Would it be Patrice Bergeron with his first hat trick of the season? David Pastrnak with a career-high five assists? Or Brad Marchand, who also joined the five-point club for the Black and Gold in an offensive explosion against a miserable Rangers team? Well, they exploded for five goals, 13 points and a combined plus-13 rating in a dominant performance where nobody on the Rangers roster had an answer for them. So just chalk this one up to a dominant performance from Boston’s best players against a not-ready-for-primetime roster that simply couldn’t match up with their star power. It happens from time to time, but it was good to see Bergeron get on the board with some goals after a slow start this season.
BLACK EYE: A tough break for Mika Zibanejad, who was done for the night after 6:31 of ice time and nine shifts following a heavy first-period collision with Patrice Bergeron. There didn’t appear to be any head contact involved, but instead he didn’t see the hit coming and his head snapped back in a whiplash-type reaction. Given that the Rangers were embellishing with head snaps and dives for penalty calls in the first couple of periods, it seemed natural at the time to wonder if Zibanejad was also doing the same kind of thing. But it was clear when he didn’t return to the game that he was injured, and the Rangers have to hope that the injury isn’t anything serious for one of their best players.
🏒 BRUINS 7, RANGERS 4
TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission actually down 1-0 on the scoreboard after they had dominated play, so things weren’t going all swimmingly after 20 minutes on the road in the second night of a back-to-back. It’s easy to see where they could have run into problems against a quality opponent. Instead the Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the second period, and outshot the hapless Rangers by a 21-5 margin while showing that the Blueshirts are still indeed very much in the middle of a rebuilding project. The Rangers, to their credit, made a game out of it late in the third period by putting up a couple of goals, but a pair of third period Bergeron strikes pretty much put things out of reach.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Coyle finally got his first goal of the season in Boston’s 11th game of the year, and they have to hope that it gets the big center on an offensive tear. Coyle finished off a great play by Charlie McAvoy wheeling around the back of the net and then assisted on another goal while finishing with two points, six shots on net and 20:33 of ice time in a strong, strong performance while still filling in for David Krejci. If this was Coyle’s final game substituting as the No. 2 center then it was also one of his best as he may find himself centering a line between Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork once Krejci is ready to go. That has the potential makings of a dynamite third line for the Black and Gold with Coyle now rolling a bit.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 — the number of career hat tricks for Patrice Bergeron after scoring a pair of third period goals to get his first hat trick this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "People talk about the second periods. We're not worried about that [expletive]. That's a bit of a joke." –Brad Marchand, who confirmed that the only thing the Bruins are worried about is “having fun” during a natural follow-up question.
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