Last night the Bruins continued their domination of the Maple Leafs with a 4-2 win. They also snapped a two game losing streak. While one of those losses was in overtime, earning them a point, and they do still have one of the best records in the league, they really needed this win to boost their morale. This is because the last two losses should’ve been easy wins. In both, they took a lead and gave it up. In the most recent of them, they actually had a 3-0 lead and ended up losing 4-3 in overtime. So they needed to prove that they could get a lead and hold on to it. That’s exactly what they did.
It has now been 715 days since the Maple Leafs last won in Boston. The Bruins have a record of 8-0-0 against Maple Leafs going back to last season.. 8-0-1 in last nine games against them going back two season. They are 2-0-0 this season. In the last eight meetings of these teams, the Bruins are averaging 5.1 goals per game and 1.5 goals against.
Bruins forward Brad Marchand continued his impressive turnaround season.. He battled hard throughout the game and contributed to many good scoring chances. In particular, he is the main reason that the Bruins scored their first goal. He was fighting hard against boards to get the puck loose and when he did, he fed it to the rushing Tyler Seguin. Seguin skated to the net and took a good shot which resulted in a rebound. Patrice Bergeron was right behind him and quickly tapped the puck into the net. Bergeron would later have two assists as well. He also helped the Bruins dominated the faceoff wins. They had almost twice as many wins as the Maple Leafs.
Things were looking good when the Bruins finished the first period with a 1-0 lead. But early in the second period, the Bruins got caught in the Maple Leaf’s zone, gave up a 2-on-1 rush, and the Maple Leafs tied the game. However, the Bruins shows their determination and a few minutes later, Tyler Seguin scored a goal with a sweet wrist shot off of an assist by Marchand, who was again fighting hard for the puck and got it to Seguin. Near the end of that period, David Krejci would score to give them the insurance goal.
Now the Bruins just had to pass the test of keeping a lead. Near the end of the third period, the Maple Leafs scored again and Bruins fans were a bit worried. Still, the Bruins held on and with 15 seconds left in the game, Seguin scored his second goal of the game on an empty net. One could easily have guessed that this would be the game in which Seguin got his shot back as he has always done well against the Maple Leafs. In the last 14 games against them he has scored 10 goals and has a +/- rating of +14.
This was the first game in a while that Tuukka Rask sat out to let Anton Khudobin play in net. He continued his solid NHL performance with 25 saves on 27 shots including 4 stops on 4 shots during Maples Leafs power plays. He had a 0.926 Save Percentage. In the five games he’s played this season, he has a 4-1 record, 121 saves on 133 shots, and a .910 Save Percentage. He has done well and proven himself as a dependable NHL goalie.
As expected, this was also a hard-hitting game full of big checks and fights. About three minutes into the game, after Mark Fraser have a dirty hit to Gregory Campbell, Adam McQuaid came over and fought him. They both got in a bunch of bunches, by McQuaid connected with a few big ones. Even tiny little Brad Marchand got involved in the physical game, focusing his hits on Dion Phaneuf, who hit him back throughout the game. About a minute into the second period, Marchand surprising almost fought Phaneuf, but it got broken up after a few gloved punches, sending them both to the penalty box for roughing. The physical game was strong and fun to watch. While the Maple Leafs and other teams have gone out of their way to get tough guys, the Bruins still run the show in that realm.
As I said, this was a big win for the Bruins, even though they have a great record. They needed it to regain their confidence. They now know they can get a lead and hold on to it. They are fourth in the league standings, and second in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the Montreal Canadiens.. and they’ve played three fewer games than them. So this season is still looking very promising for the Bruins.
On a side-note, the Bruins also celebrated Milt Schmidt’s 95th birthday, giving him a ceremonial puck drop. Schmidt is often referred to as “the ultimate Bruin,” having played for, coached, and managed the team. He played for them from 1936 to 1955, with a break from 1942 to 1945 to fight in World War II. Starting in 1966, he coached the Bruins for 11 seasons. He was also an assistant general manager. In 1961 he was inducted to the NHL Hall of Fame. My salute to you, Milt.
Here’s a video recap of the game:
Here’s a video of Patrice Bergeron’s goal, made possible by Brad Marchand:
Here’s a video of Adam McQuaid fighting Mark Fraser:
Here’s a video of Milt Schmidt being honored:
Thanks for reading,