With his game-winning goal in a 2-1 Boston Bruins win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday night, Jake DeBrusk snapped his longest goalless drought of the season at eleven games.
“When it goes in the net it’s always a nice feeling,” DeBrusk told the media. “I hadn’t seen that in a while, so my play was kind of nice [against Tampa] overall.”
After missing a perfect set up from defenseman Charlie McAvoy for a point-blank chance early in the second period the hockey Gods answered finally answered DeBrusk’s wishes three shifts laster. Charlie Coyle sent a streaking DeBrusk in with the puck at the offensive blue line. Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian tripped up DeBrusk in an effort to prevent the breakaway, and while DeBrusk did fall to one knee, he was able to get up, coral the puck and deke out Vasilevskiy for a 2-0 Brelly but that one likely felt better than most.
“That’s the way I want to be with speed and effort, and it was nice to contribute in that time of the game against that team,” said DeBrusk. “Hopefully I get hot at the right time. That’s one of the main things. Overall mentally it’s a matter of sticking with it and grinding it out and understanding that these things do happen. It’s just a matter of limiting [the cold stretches] obviously.”
Head coach Bruce Cassidy was happy with DeBrusk’s effort and the hard work that led to the 23-year-old winger’s 19th goal of the season.
“I thought he was good. It was nice to see [him score] when you play the right way and you’re on pucks and chipping behind them, and not getting ridden out of the play easily,” Cassidy said. “He was persistent,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Even that [scoring play] on another night he goes down and doesn’t get up. On some nights we’ve seen Jake get frustrated. He stuck with it and he got rewarded in the end.”
Cassidy was also impressed with the entire line of DeBrusk, Coyle, and Chris Wagner.
“They were making some plays and stayed out of trouble in their own end,” Cassidy pointed out. “At his age, scoring matters and I’m glad he got it playing the right way.”
DeBrusk also has 16 helpers for 35 points this season. With his next goal, DeBrusk will crack the 20-goal plateau for the second time in his career after lighting the lamp 27 times last season.