Sunday came with defenseman Derek Forbort’s first goal as a Bruin, and his first multi-point effort since December 2018, but that was hardly the 29-year-old blue liner’s favorite part of Boston’s 4-3 win over the Sharks.
With the Bruins suddenly in a one-goal game after back-to-back unstoppable deflection goals from the Sharks, Forbort was deployed for nearly half of the final three minutes of the victory with one goal in mind: shut ’em down.
“I love it,” Forbort said after the win. “I think being out there with a one-goal lead, goalie pulled, that’s kind of my favorite time to play hockey.”
When the Sharks’ Kevin Labanc carried the puck into the attacking zone with just over two minutes left in the third period, the 6-foot-4, 219-pound Forbort gave him absolutely no room to maneuver and forced him into a turnover. Forbort then on two separate occasions sent the puck out of danger and into a less populated area of the ice, and on three separate occasions made the strong first pass to support along the walls to help the Bruins get out of the defensive zone.
“He’s gonna have to play in those situations,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s a good guy to clear the front of the net. I thought he managed the puck well. He had a good game. That’s where he needs to be good for us.”
Forbort also finished the night as Boston’s fourth-most utilized defenseman at five-on-five behind the Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy pairing and Brandon Carlo, and this is exactly where the B’s slotted Forbort when they inked him to a three-year, $9 million contract as their move in a busy Day 1 of free agency last summer.
And it’s come with Forbort, now on his fourth different organization, finding his footing.
“As you get going and you get more familiar with your D partner and everyone on the ice, everything gets easier,” Forbort admitted. “You’re thinking less and you can just make the plays and roll with it. It just takes time.”
Here’s some other leftover thoughts and notes from a 4-3 win over the Sharks…
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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.