Bruins' Team-Wide Production Remains on Repeat
BOSTON, MA - It may sound like a broken record right now, but the Bruins would be happy for this record to stay in the same groove, and play over and over again.
On Tuesday night at TD Garden, they picked up their third straight six-goal win, this one coming in a 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers would push to reduce it to a two-goal deficit, but the Bruins pushed right back.
Shawn Thornton scored what would be deemed one of his best goals in Black & Gold, and David Krejci added a third-period goal off a takeaway top-shelf on Tim Thomas that drew out an extra spirited roar from the crowd. They knew what reaching half a dozen on the scoresheet meant.
Boston's 18 goals in their past three wins have come from 10 different scorers.
"I think everyone’s going. We haven’t really had any passengers from the goalie on out," Thornton said postgame. "I think there’s obviously been a few stretches here, five-ten minutes that we get away from it a little bit, but we regroup pretty quickly and get back to playing our style of game. I think that’s helped us have success for sure."
Just about every Bruin has been above the 10-minute mark in ice-time. Four lines have been consistently rolled out.
"Well it’s been really good for us, with this tough schedule, that we’ve been able to spread the ice time around a lot better than we have in the past," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "That’s been good for everybody."
"We realize that we’re in a stretch here of playing four [games] in six nights, and when you have to play back-to-back games, it’s important that you utilize your bench as much as you can when you have that luxury. And we do. It’s been good for our team, and it certainly hasn’t stopped anyone from producing."
In fact, half of the team is hot, even if they don't want to admit it.
Starting with the Bruins' win in Dallas, their past six games have produced 27 goals and 71 points. They have earned 11 of 12 points in that span.
Torey Krug extended his points stretch to four games in the win. Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla are on three-game streaks, while Shawn Thornton, Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg have all strung together two games straight with points.
"The guys are playing well, they’re playing a pretty solid game all around," said Thornton. "Our style of hockey, we’re not getting into the trap of trying to chase personal stats, we’re still sticking to the way no matter what the score is."
"Playing our style of hockey and I think that has helped our effort for 60."
"I think the biggest thing is we’re doing the job you're supposed to do yourself, not doing the other guy's job and when we do that, it is more organized and doesn’t look like a yard sale out there all the time," said Tuukka Rask, who made 28 saves in the win.
"That’s been a great sign, and cutting those goals against down too is great for our defense and the whole team. So it’s a good building block for sure."
The Bruins have been constantly referring to "building" something during their recent stretch. Building consistency. Building to a full 60 minutes. Building in the right direction.
Their stronger defensive play, and puck support all over the ice has bred success, but they're still building for more.
"I think the biggest thing is that we can’t get complacent or even bored of playing the right way," said Lucic. "And you saw that in the second period there where we kind of hit a lull and started to cheat and get away from what’s given us success as of late."
The Bruins were outshot 12-10 in the second period, when Rask had to make two of his toughest saves. The Panthers scored a power-play to goal end the period, and any shutout attempt by the Bruins.
"But we got back to it in the third period and we’re going to need that moving forward," said Lucic.
Any lapses have been brief for the Bruins. So, while they still keep working towards a greater level of play, the effort has constantly been there.
"I think, for one, the work ethic has been there," said Chris Kelly, who made his return to the lineup after missing 22 games, all healed up from his broken right fibula (calf bone). "A big key to success right now is we’re going out there and working hard. Every line is playing well and contributing at some point, so it’s good to see."
That approach has always been the Bruins' way.
"It’s huge because it doesn’t put so much emphasis on one guy scoring all the goals," said Lucic. "We’ve never been a team with a 50-point goal scorer. We’ve always had success by having different guys stepping up at different times, and our team play is what has given us the most success."
"It seems like the lines are clicking and the line combos that are together right now. I think that’s why eight guys have been able to hit double-digits in goals. But in saying that, we want to keep pushing for more. I think it’s great that it almost seems like we’re pushing each other to want more, and I think that’s a good thing to have in this room."
"We’re a committed group right now. We seem to be excited to play. We seem to have the right energy," said Julien, of his squad. "You can sit here and try and figure out the reasons why all night long, but the season’s a long season, and every team is going through that at some point."
For now, they'll keep pushing, and keep building, and keep having fun. And you won't see them trying to fix that broken record. They will gladly keep that on repeat.
"I think that we’re playing a lot with what we are known for and what the identity of our team is," said Captain Zdeno Chara.
"To be honest with you, it’s a lot of fun to be on that kind of a roll."