Talking Points from the Bruins' 7-4 win over the Rangers

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 7-4 win over the Rangers

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.


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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Brad Marchand disses Ryan Lindgren after exchanging blows

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Brad Marchand disses Ryan Lindgren after exchanging blows

Brad Marchand had a feisty game against the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon that included notching his 51st assist of the season in the 3-1 win at Madison Square Garden. The Bruins left winger also got into it physically with a few Rangers players along the way, including former Bruins prospect and current Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren.

Lindgren lined Marchand up for a hit in front of the Rangers bench in the first period that the B’s forward sidestepped, and then the two scuffled in a sequence that landed Lindgren in the box with a retaliatory roughing penalty.

During a key stretch late in the second period, it was Lindgren again starting a shoving match with Patrice Bergeron in front of the New York net. Marchand stepped in to help defend his linemate during the scrum, but then got knocked off his feet by a nasty cross-check from behind by Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich.  

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The force of the impact knocked Marchand’s helmet off and sent him flying to the ice, but he ended up getting the only penalty called against him. The Bruins got the last laugh, though, when Charlie Coyle scored the shorthanded game-winner during the ensuing Rangers power play, and Marchand was spotted celebrating in the penalty box after the breakaway goal.  

After the game, the ever-quotable Marchand was asked about Lindgren by reporters in New York, and he let the bottom-pairing Rangers defenseman have it by unloading both of his verbal barrels on the youngster.

"He's not going to be a player there that's going to have a very long career,” said Marchand. “I'm not overly concerned about him. ... He's a good, steady defenseman ... All the best to him, hope he does a great job. But I can't see it."

Ouch. Marchand and the Bruins won on the scoreboard, and then again with the postgame chirps from Madison Square Garden.

Bruins-Rangers Talking Points: Charlie Coyle continues dominant play in B's win

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Bruins-Rangers Talking Points: Charlie Coyle continues dominant play in B's win

GOLD STAR: Charlie Coyle has picked up the scoring pace as of late with four goals in his last five games. And now he was scored in two straight games after picking up the shorthanded game-winning goal for the Bruins on Sunday afternoon.

Coyle was a dominant force again on Sunday against the Rangers from his third line center spot and has played with the same kind of strength, motor and relentless play that everybody saw from him in the playoffs last year. Even better, Coyle is now on a pace to get close to 20 goals this season for the Bruins, and his play in Sunday’s game was a beauty. He broke up a play at the Rangers offensive blue line, sped behind the New York power play and then threw a couple of moves at Alexander Georgiev before flipping a forehand bid past him late in the second period.

Coyle finished with the goal, a plus-2 rating, three shots on net and a hit and a takeaway in 15:57 of ice time for the Bruins.

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BLACK EYE: Pavel Buchnevich certainly made a statement about his game on Sunday. He was a team-worst minus-3 and he managed to miss the net with all four of his shot attempts.

But the biggest moment was his cheap cross-check to an unsuspecting Brad Marchand that knocked the Bruins forward’s helmet off as he squared up with Ryan Lindgren after the New York defenseman started trouble with Patrice Bergeron.

Buchnevich also had a giveaway in 17:14 of ice time as many of New York’s best players simply didn’t do enough in a game that the Rangers desperately needed to stay in shouting distance of the playoffs. But it’s amazing that Buchnevich wasn’t called for even a minor penalty for throwing a major cheap shot at one of the NHL’s best players.

TURNING POINT: The turning point for the game was the cheap shot Buchnevich threw on Marchand. Marchand was the only one whistled for a penalty as he cross-checked Lindgren while sticking up for his linemate Bergeron, and then Buchnevich came out of nowhere to knock the Bruins winger off the ice with a cross-check from behind.

The force of the Buchnevich two-hander knocked Marchand’s helmet off, but somehow there was no minor penalty called on him.

As the saying goes, though, the puck don’t lie. With Marchand in the box for what should have been matching penalties, Charlie Coyle scored on a shorthanded breakaway for the game-winning goal at the end of the second period.

HONORABLE MENTION: As has been the case for a number of games since the NHL All-Star break, Charlie McAvoy was one of the best players on the ice for the Bruins. McAvoy scored another goal when his point shot deflected off a Rangers body in front before fluttering in past Georgiev, and gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead in the game.

McAvoy finished with a game-high 24:52 of ice time, scored a goal, had five shot attempts and was a plus-1 rating while throwing two registered hits and blocking a couple of shots as well.

McAvoy played an elite, tough level at both ends of the ice and was pushing the envelope offensively in a way he wasn’t doing earlier in the season when his confidence wasn’t at an all-time high. McAvoy is playing his best hockey of the season right now and Sunday’s win was another example of it.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of assists in Sunday’s win for the Bruins despite scoring three goals. Brad Marchand had the lone assist on Patrice Bergeron’s empty netter while Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle’s goals were both unassisted earlier in the game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He's not going to be a player there that's going to have a very long career. I'm not overly concerned with him." –Brad Marchand on New York Rangers defenseman (and former Bruins prospect) Ryan Lindgren after the two players scuffled a couple of times during Sunday’s matinee.