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BHN Talking Points

Talking Points: Boston Bruins Wake Up From Sluggish Start

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BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

GOLD STAR: Charlie McAvoy was a “do everything” kind of No. 1 defenseman for the Bruins in the win. McAvoy notched a pair of assists and a plus-1 rating in 26:31 of ice time, including the game-winning goal that bounced off the Bruins defenseman’s broken stick before unwittingly setting up Bergeron for a quick turnaround score. It wasn’t all roses and candy for McAvoy as the B’s defenseman struggled running the power play point for the Bruins throughout the game, but he also brought the thunder physically when the Senators began running around in the second half of the game. McAvoy’s hit on Zach Sanford against the side boards was a thing of beauty, and a nice response to a hit that knocked Trent Frederic out of the game, even if the B’s were basically expecting him to do everything big and small.

BLACK EYE: Plenty of these to go around in a game where the Bruins didn’t show up in the first period against an undermanned Senators group battling a COVID outbreak. There was also Taylor Hall, who took a “lazy” offensive zone hooking call midway through the third period that Bruce Cassidy was not happy about postgame. Hall was replaced by Jake DeBrusk for a couple of shifts down the stretch in the third period because the Boston Bruins head coach felt Hall wasn’t playing “winning hockey” at a time when the B’s absolutely needed it in a one-goal game. Hall has a decent three goals and seven points in the first 10 games this season but hasn’t been a constant threat this season to support a Boston offense that is once again relying too much on their top players. One game after wearing an “A” in Toronto he was turning over pucks that led to Ottawa goals, taking bad third period penalties and then hitting the bench in the game’s final minutes while the team protected a one-goal lead. Life comes at you pretty fast, Taylor.

TURNING POINT: Things really turned after a sloppy first period where the B’s mismanaged the puck and didn’t look sharp in a couple of power play chances. They fell down by a 1-0 score to Ottawa after the opening 20 minutes, but things perked up for the B’s in the second when the challenge came to show a little more urgency. Brad Marchand has a power play goal bounce off him and into the net as the B’s got the fortunate break they were looking for to tie up the game, and they were off and running after that. The Bruins never separated from an Ottawa group that was grinding hard and couldn’t take advantage of a goalie in Matt Murray that never really looked comfortable, but they were a different team once the top offensive guys got going in the middle 20 minutes.

HONORABLE MENTION: Who else but Patrice Bergeron? It was the Bruins center that notched the game-winner when he was able to corral a puck that bounced off a broken stick and quickly turned and fired on a surprised Matt Murray. Bergeron shares the team lead with five goals on the season, had five shot attempts and won 16-of-28 faceoffs in the game against the Senators while leading the way for Boston. At this point, Bergeron and Marchand are leading the way offensively big time for the Black and Gold and No. 37 has left behind any talk of a slow start to the season. Now the conversation is turning to the Bruins finding some players to step up and provide secondary offense behind a Perfection Line that’s finding their game. Stop me if you’ve heard that one from the Boston Bruins before.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – the number of consecutive wins on the TD Garden ice to start the 2021-22 NHL season, the best start for the Boston Bruins on home ice in 30 years since they collected six home wins in a row to start the 1985-86 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “You want to play late in games, you’ve got to play winning hockey. It doesn’t matter who you are.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, on switching out Taylor Hall for Jake DeBrusk on the second line while protecting a slim 3-2 lead in the third period.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Rick W Murray

Judging by the way they were running amok around in their own end they desperately need an experienced d and good second line centre

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