If Jake DeBrusk is looking to accelerate his exit from the Bruins, nights like Thursday can only help.
Jake DeBrusk snaps one home on the power play.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 3, 2021
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/Z1eCclPJ0R
Playing in his second game since his trade request went public, DeBrusk opened up the scoring for Boston with a vintage-looking marker with the Bruins up a man in the first period. This actually held as the game-winning goal in a shutout victory for Jeremy Swayman, and was just part of what was an effective night for the 25-year-old wing.
On the ice for 10:48 of action by the night’s end, No. 74 did what he could in his fourth-line role with Tomas Nosek and Curtis Lazar, and even came through with a solid chance created out of a one-on-one battle with the Preds’ Dante Fabbro.
Good effort by Jake DeBrusk on this chance: pic.twitter.com/DQkgbQcehE— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) December 3, 2021
It was pretty much all DeBrusk had to show for the evening, but when you factor in the defensive role of that line (they began just 25 percent of their shifts in the offensive zone) and its limited ice time, the night felt like a win for both sides.
“[DeBrusk] had a good game,” acting head coach Joe Sacco said after the victory. “Hopefully he can build off of that too. Like we said before, we just want Jake to help our team anyway possible and he came up with a big goal tonight. I thought he was skating well tonight. I thought he was moving well. I thought that he competed tonight.”
And given that he likely wouldn’t be playing at all if not for the injury to Anton Blidh and Brad Marchand’s suspension, the Bruins will take anything they can to help boost DeBrusk’s stock between now and his eventual trade out of town.
Will one goal change everything for the return on DeBrusk? No, probably not. Teams, including the one that drafted DeBrusk with the No. 14 overall pick in 2015, have seen these flashes of high-end talent before only to wonder where it went after a half dozen donuts in the stat line and an eventual trip back to the press box. But it should change something, at least based on the mild (the Bruins used the term ‘OK’), half-speed looking effort that DeBrusk put forth in Tuesday’s loss to the Red Wings.
But the real challenge, as was the case when DeBrusk was still part of the Bruins’ future plans, comes with building off that performance with another encouraging outing.
After all, it’s indeed DeBrusk’s quickest way out of here.