Perhaps Boston Bruins fans and media alike should consider ourselves lucky. Not only do we get to break down filthy goals like the double OT game-winner by Patrice Bergeron in Game 1, but we’re also lucky the game only went to double OT. There are a few sore backsides in Toronto and Columbus after the five-OT thriller in the Toronto hub on Tuesday night.
Get the Boston Hockey Now recap of the Game 1 Bruins win, here.
Just for fun, let’s break down the game-winner. In the details are what makes the Boston Bruins top line one of the best, if not the best, top unit in the NHL.
The play started with a shot block by Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. Watch the immediate transition to offense, like a pack of dogs smelling dinner. Brad Marchand (Dotted red circle) made himself the outlet pass. David Pastrnak (solid red circle) quickly filled the center lane and Patrice Bergeron (the man in black…circle) went ahead of the play to create space in the neutral zone.
The second and third frames are where the goal really happened. Carlo blocked the shot, then raced forward to center ice. He took a defender with him, which opened an easy passing lane from Marchand to Pastrnak, with speed. The Bruins keep moving forward and Bergeron anticipated the rush.
There aren’t many lines in the NHL that can work the give-and-go at center ice quite like this. Carlo simply stopped. He made himself a fencepost in the way of the Carolina defenders.
Marchand never slowed down, and Pastrnak took off on the receiving end of the “go” part of the play. By charging forward, Pastrnak nullifed the two immediate defenders and created a two-on-two into the offensive zone, but his speed forced the top defender to come his way to prevent a breakaway.
…While Bergeron (top of the screen) lurked like a predator.
After Pastrnak pulled the defenseman towards him, Bergeron was wide open in the right-wing circle. Five perfect passes, in five lanes, as four players touched the puck-moving straight up the ice.
This is why the Boston Bruins top line lead pushed Pastrnak to the NHL goal-scoring lead with 48 goals in just 70 games. Flawless perfection.
Winner. A day late, but we don’t think Bruins fans will mind.