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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 8: Morgan Geekie #39 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates Charlie McAvoy #73, David Pastrnak #88, Matt Grzelcyk #48 and Pavel Zacha #18 during the second period at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Morgan Geekie;Charlie McAvoy;Pavel Zacha;Matt Grzelcyk;David Pastrnak

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery didn’t want to call Thursday’s win over the Canucks his team’s best win of the season. Sure, he understood the magnitude of the showdown, which featured the best team in the East going up against the best team in the West, but this game didn’t feel like a true heavyweight tilt to him.

Well, if you ask me, there was a reason for that. And it’s because the Bruins choked the life out of the Canucks early in this game, and with a performance that may not be worthy of being dubbed the best win of the season, but a game that’s absolutely at the top of the list for ‘bounce-back wins’ this season.

Up against a Canucks team bolstered by the addition of Elias Lindholm and coming off a Tuesday win over the Hurricanes, it looked like it was going to be another tough start for the Bruins when a partial breakaway opportunity for the Canucks led to a Boston penalty not even 20 seconds into the game.

But it was the return of the Shorthanded King, Brad Marchand, that allowed the Bruins to avoid disaster and instead begin the night with a lead, with a shortie scored at the 32-second mark of the first period.

  • The Bruins built off that with yet another shorthanded goal, this one from Danton Heinen 15 minutes after Marchand’s strike, and with another two goals in a 15-second span in the middle frame, the Bruins made shockingly quick work of the best team the West has to offer through the first half of the season.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a win over the Canucks…

  • No. 3 Star: Linus Ullmark

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 8: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a shutout win against the Vancouver Canucks with teammate Matt Grzelcyk #48 at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins won 4-0. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Linus Ullmark;Matt Grzelcyk

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 8: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a shutout win against the Vancouver Canucks with teammate Matt Grzelcyk #48 at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    It wasn’t the heaviest workload for Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark. In what was a clinical effort by the team in front of him, Ullmark was tagged with just 17 shots by the night’s end. But he did stop all 17 of ’em en route to his first shutout of the season, and did come through with some big-time stops to choke the life out of the Canucks.

    It also appears that the 6-foot-5 Ullmark is beginning to rediscover his rhythm after his lower-body injury, too, with the 17-save shutout and a 35-of-37 performance in his last two outings.

  • No. 2 Star: Morgan Geekie

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 8: Morgan Geekie #39 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates during the second period at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Morgan Geekie

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 8: Morgan Geekie #39 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates during the second period at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    One of the things that Montgomery wanted — or needed, really — to see from his club in this game was how they responded physically after they failed to meet that challenge from the Flames on Tuesday night. And it was Morgan Geekie who led the way on that front, with a game-high six hits in just 15:04 of work.

    Oh, and Geekie scored Boston’s third goal of the game, which felt the true knockout punch in this contest, as it came just moments into the second period and with Vancouver already down by two.

    The goal was Geekie’s ninth of the season, tying his career-high set last year with the Kraken, and Geekie is now just four points away from matching his career-high of 28, also set last year with Seattle.

  • No. 1 Star: Charlie Coyle

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 8: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his shorthanded goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates Hampus Lindholm #27 and Charlie Coyle #13 during the first period at the TD Garden on February 8, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brad Marchand;Hampus Lindholm;Charlie Coyle

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 8: Brad Marchand #63 of the Bruins celebrates his goal against the Canucks with teammates Hampus Lindholm #27 and Charlie Coyle #13 at TD Garden on February 8, 2024. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    He may not have found the back of the net in a four-goal outing for the Black and Gold, but the hot run continued for Bruins center Charlie Coyle all the same.

    In what was his 10th straight game with at least one point, Coyle did his work on the penalty kill, and came through with the primary helper on both of the B’s shorthanded markers.

    And in doing so, Coyle actually became the first Bruins player to have multiple shorthanded points in a game since Rich Peverley accomplished the feat on Apr. 10, 2013.

  • (Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)

    We’re back with another new episode of the Sports Hub Underground. The Bruins are officially back from their bye week and so are we, with plenty to talk about.

    Here’s the full rundown…

    (0:50) Opening banter

    (19:05) Bruins play their worst game of the season against the Flames

    (26:45) Jeremy Swayman is worthy of your criticism

    (33:50) Noah Hanifin remains a possible big free-agent target for the Bruins

    (44:00) Jake DeBrusk sounds closer and closer to signing an extension

    (57:38) The guys pick their “Big 3” sports achievements they’d like to see in person

    Subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground wherever you get your podcasts.

    Apple: https://apple.co/3AICTPR

    Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3j5ibDR

    Google: http://bit.ly/38pPKIG

    More options: https://bit.ly/3tSKABs

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