Jake DeBrusk made it clear he heard what people were saying about him as things came to a head for the Boston Bruins winger this week.
The former first round pick was a healthy scratch for this week’s shootout loss to the New York Islanders and Bruins team officials weren’t shying away from pointed criticism of his game either. DeBrusk only had one goal in 17 games, of course, but it was far deeper than the surface statistics for a 24-year-old forward where things like “effort” and “compete” were being called into question.
So full credit to the affable DeBrusk that he absorbed it all and responded in the proper way with a strong, robust all-around game that, yes, also led to him scoring a goal in Boston’s 4-0 win over the New York Rangers at TD Garden.
The goal was a beauty as he moved into an open spot in the circle and rifled home a perfect dish from David Krejci wheeling through the offensive zone. DeBrusk admitted afterward that he’d heard and read it all and that he played “pissed off” when he hit the ice on Thursday night. As motivating factors go, it served him well.