The Boston Bruins finished the 2019-20 COVID-shortened regular season on March 10, 2020, with a 2-0 win over the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and atop the entire NHL to earn their first President’s Trophy since 2013-14. On Friday night, almost eleven months to the date, they once again left the City Of Brotherly Love with the best record in the NHL.
Despite once again being the best team in the National Hockey League, the Bruins are far from satisfied and as far as they’re concerned aren’t even close to their ceiling for the 2021 NHL season.
“We’re still growing,” said Bruins winger Brad Marchand after another third period comeback and 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. “We’ve got guys out of the lineup. Guys are still just trying to find their game; new to the team. You got guys coming up trying to earn their spot. So we’re still growing. We have to be happy with where we’re at but we’re not satisfied, that’s for sure. We know we can be better. We know where there’s growth to be done in this group and we’re excited about that.”
After Flyers forward and former UNH star James van Riemsdyk broke a scoreless tie with a powerplay goal 27 ticks into the final frame Friday, Marchand and Sean Kuraly scored 27 seconds apart to propel the Bruins to their third straight win and their eighth straight game registering at least a point. The Boston Bruins have now come back in the third period five times and four of those five comebacks have led to wins.
Thanks to a COVID outbreak hitting the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins will not play their games against the Sabres at TD Garden that were scheduled for tonight and Monday. They realize that even though they’ve proved the naysayers wrong to this point and have a chance to get rest and get healthy, this isn’t the time to pat themselves on the back. The Bruins will still likely have to play those postponed games and they know that due to external and internal factors of this 56-game season, they can’t afford to rest on their laurels.
“So right now, the schedule’s going to get tougher the later we go,” said Marchand who has an eight-game point streak (6g, 6a) going. “Especially the games that we missed and we have to make up are going to make it even harder. So, the next few days are going to be big and to recover and recoup any kind of nagging injuries and spend some time at home and get away from the rink a bit.”
After an optional skate and daily testing Saturday, the Boston Bruins will have Super Bowl Sunday off and then practice Monday and Tuesday before heading to The Big Apple to face the New York Rangers Wednesday and Friday.
It’s nice to have, but we’re going to pay for it at some point, whether they jam those games in, but it’s a good time to get a break and regroup and take it easy, especially with the Super Bowl,” Marchand said.
It’s no surprise that one of the most clutch players in the NHL is picking the most clutch quarterback in the history of the NFL to win on Sunday.
“I mean, I’ve grown to like [Pat] Mahomes, but tough to root against [Tom] Brady,” Marchand said of the former Patriots quarterback that is playing in his tenth Super Bowl and trying to win his seventh Super Bowl ring. “He’s just so clutch and obviously been a big player for New England for a long time.”