Boston Bruins

Oct 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) reacts with defenseman Derek Forbort (28) after scoring a goal during the first period against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There’s an awful lot that’s gone into the Bruins’ 2022 resurgence.

From an improved power play to a tighter defense to a more balanced scoring attack, you’ve been able to pinpoint just about everything and everyone when heaping praise on the B’s month of January. On Saturday, a new group decided to emerge, as the Black and Gold’s third line with Charlie Coyle at center and Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen on the wings decided to lead the even-strength charge to victory.

“If you want to be a good team, you need contributions from everyone,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. “And they did their job and then some offensively.”

The line’s afternoon kicked off with some simple plays that made a big difference. As Dylan DeMelo went to play a puck behind the Winnipeg net, DeBrusk came in with a slight disruption on the forecheck. DeMelo’s pass rimmed around the net was picked off by Urho Vaakanainen, who sent it to DeBrusk, and DeBrusk had a sweet little backhand touch pass to Coyle for a shot in a prime area, and with Steen there for the rebound goal.

“A little man-to-man in d-zone helps a guy like Coyle separate and the other guys get open,” Cassidy noted.

The party continued in the middle frame, too, this time with Coyle able to deflect a goal through the Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck early in the middle frame. That goal, much like the first, was sparked by some aggressive forechecking from the Boston wingers, as Steen and DeBrusk converged on Winnipeg’s Nate Schmidt on the way to a turnover to Derek Forbort en route to the Coyle tally.

“Sometimes you play well and you don’t get the end result, but you get opportunities. Sometimes you’re not playing so well and you find the back of the net. It’s a funny game sometimes,” Coyle said of the line’s strong night. “You always want to help contribute. But playing solid defensively, I think that usually jumpstarts us.

“I think we just used our forecheck, [had] good sticks, and going through guys when we could. But all those pucks just kind of found the slot and, us being in good spots and getting opportunities.”

Deployed for 10:34 of five-on-five action (second-highest total among Boston’s four lines), the DeBrusk-Coyle-Steen lined finished with a 6-2 shot advantage, and generated six scoring chances in all. But, again, the two goals were the most important result, especially with the Boston top line snakebitten despite a dominant night.

“They were a line that that knew that they had to play a certain way and they did,” Cassidy said of his third line. “I liked all three. A big part of our win, and that’s always good for for team building and for success is when different lines contribute. And they were certainly now I would say our best tonight.”

Here are some other leftover thoughts and notes from a 3-2 win over the Jets...

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 09: Derek Forbort #28 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Bruins’ Forbort puts in work against former team

    A solid day’s work for Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort.

    Out there for 20:21, the 6-foot-4 Forbort stuffed the box score with an assistant, three shots on goal, two hits, and four blocks. But Forbort most definitely earned his paycheck for the day when on the wrong end of a 6-on-4 over the final 1:27 of regulation and the Jets in search of a game-tying goal.

    One of Boston’s go-to killers over that 87-second run, Forbort came through with a pair of timely blocks on attempted passes to high-danger areas to preserve the two points for the Black and Gold.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 05: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Rask starts slow, but finishes strong for second win

    Saturday did not get off to a great start for Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask.

    In fact, the Jets put themselves on the board on their first shot of the game, and on what was certainly a stoppable shot, and with Rask getting a piece of it on its way through the 34-year-old veteran.

    But Rask (and the Bruins as a whole) rebounded well from it, as the only goal that beat Rask from that point on was a deflection off Vaakanainen’s skate and in, and with 22 saves for the victory.

    “I thought the second and third period, I don’t know that we hardly gave up a chance, to be honest, other than some stuff from the outside, so I thought he settled in,” Cassidy said.

    Cassidy wasn’t even sweating the first goal, saying that it’s a residual effect of missing time.

  • Dec 29, 2019; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) takes a shot against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

    Matt Grzelcyk, Bruins survive injury scare

    It did not look good for Matt Grzelcyk when Pierre-Luc Dubois finished him off to the left of the Boston net in the first period of Saturday’s contest. Down in a heap and holding his wrist, Grzelcyk needed to wait for a whistle before he returned to his skates and immediately went down the tunnel.

    But the 5-foot-9 defender was back for the second period, and didn’t miss a shift for the remainder of the night, and finished with an assist and shot on goal in 13:35 of time on ice.

    Speaking after the victory, Cassidy didn’t expect that Grzelcyk would be in danger of missing any additional time given the way he finished the game, but noted that they’ll have to wait until Monday before knowing if there’s any lingering side effects.

    With Mike Reilly on the COVID list, and with John Moore unavailable, Jack Ahcan or Tyler Lewington would be the next to draw back into action for the Bruins.

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