By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It looked unlikely, especially as their shooters continued to shoot blanks in the shootout, but the Boston Bruins extended their run to seven straight victories behind Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout final over the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Black and Gold’s regulation goals came from their left side, with tallies from Jake DeBrusk (his 19th of the season) and Brad Marchand (his 24th), while Jaroslav Halak stood tall, with stops on 31-of-33 shots thrown his way, and stops on all but one of the six Vegas shootout attempts that barreled down on him.
Here are some assorted thoughts from Boston’s seventh straight win…
Jake DeBrusk has picked the perfect time to heat up
Man, has Jake DeBrusk saved the Bruins of late or what?
After scuffling for entirely-too-long, DeBrusk continued his hot run, with yet another goal on Wednesday, giving him goals in five straight, and has now recorded 10 points in all over that stretch. Or, in other words, DeBrusk has come through 34 percent of his 2018-19 production in his last 81 minutes of time on ice. Not too bad, to be honest.
It’s come at the perfect time for more than just the obvious of DeBrusk snapping out of his cold streak, too, as the Bruins have found themselves beyond able to stay afloat without David Pastrnak (thumb, out at least two weeks) and also confirm that Boston’s second-line one-two punch of DeBrusk and David Krejci still has the ability to be what this team will need it to be if the B’s are going to be more than a one-line team for the second straight postseason.
I also feel that it’s worth mentioning that No. 74 looks infinitely more comfortable now that he’s been switched back to his natural left-wing position. It’s clear that DeBrusk can play on the right if the Bruins really need it, but if they’re going to maximize his impact, it needs to be on the left side, where he and Krejci has an established connection.
Not hard to see where Charlie Coyle will fit into mix
Charlie Coyle, acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night, has been a member of the Bruins for mere hours, but it appears that B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy already knows where he would like to put Coyle.
“Well he can either go in behind Bergy and Krech at center,” Cassidy said after the victory. “I don’t know the player as well as some in the organization, so we’re gonna look to that. But we do feel there’s a need there at third-line center. [Trent Frederic’s] been doing well, but he’s young. I’ve been told that that’s his best position.”
It’s really not even a debate: Out of the gate, and barring a separate move, it’s in the middle of Boston’s “third line” that Coyle is needed ASAP, as that position has been an absurd revolving door of sorts for the Bruins this season.
But the Bruins know they have options with the 26-year-old forward.
“Can he go up and play right wing, especially with [David Pastrnak] out? Yeah, he could play with Krech or Bergy-Marchand, somewhere up in the lineup,” said Cassidy. We’re fortunate. I think it’s a good acquisition because of that; he can fill either hole, maybe both in the same game. He can move back and forth depending on the need.
“I think it’s good for us, good size, good talent, young, so that’s how I see him fitting in.”
Coyle comes to the Bruins having posted 10 goals and 28 points in 60 games for the Wild this season.
It’s nice to see David Backes play part in victory
It seems that any praise of David Backes in 2019 is met with a sigh and some eye-rolling, but the truth is that the 34-year-old winger has actually been somewhat solid for the Bruins in recent days. In fact, over his last four games, Backes has contributed one assist, 13 hits, and won 11-of-12 faceoffs on Boston’s fourth line.
These are not $6 million numbers, of course, but.. it’s something.
For as much grief as he’ll get for not living up to his contract, there’s something to be said for the fact that Backes is still desperately trying to find a way to factor into a positive for the B’s, and he found a way on Wednesday, striking in the bottom of the sixth round of the shootout to seal the deal on a win for the Bruins.
(I’m also extremely curious to see how Backes is utilized if the Bruins indeed play Coyle as their third-line center.)