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Talking Points: The Charlie’s Rule The Day For Boston Bruins

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BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Sunday night.

GOLD STAR: The entire weekend’s Gold Star goes to Charlie McAvoy, who played dominant two-way hockey in both wins over the New Jersey Devils and Montreal Canadiens. After posting three assists, a plus-4 rating and six blocked shots in 25 plus minutes on Saturday afternoon, McAvoy potted a pair of goals, had seven shots on net and three registered hits in 23:03 of ice time while driving the offense for the Black and Gold. The No. 1 defenseman now has three goals and 12 points in 13 games and is pacing to put up the kind of offensive numbers that the Bruins have needed from him as the leader of the blue line group. The first goal was a hustling hunt for a loose puck rebound in front, but the power play strike from the high slot while letting loose with his big shot is exactly the kind of weapon that the Bruins need to see more of from McAvoy. It’s promising to see him doing it in a big rivalry game against the Habs and adding more of that offensive dimension to everything he brings to the table.

BLACK EYE: Rough night for Jeff Petry, who had a holding call that led to the Bruins game-tying power play goal at the start of the third period. Then Petry added insult to injury when he fired a clearing attempt from the net-front that bounced right off Charlie Coyle’s visor and into the Montreal net for the game-winning goal. Petry finished with a minus-1 in 25:24 of ice time and did have five shot attempts in the game, but he wasn’t able to do anything in his 25 plus minutes of ice time assist from play a big hand in two plays that keyed Boston’s comeback. That’s not a very good thing to see from your No. 1 defenseman when looking at it from Montreal’s perspective.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were losing 2-1 after two periods despite having outshot the Canadiens by a 20-10 margin in the middle 20 minutes of the game. So there could have been every reason for the B’s to be frustrated about the situation. But instead they kept pushing forward and persevering and ended up scoring on an early power play to tie things up and set up a third period where they scored four goals to pull away with an 5-2 win over the Canadiens. It actually wasn’t even a period where they completely dominated and just outshot the Habs by a 10-7 margin, but they got some of the puck luck bounces that had been eluding them earlier in the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Coyle has been criticized at times for not being the ideal No. 2 center to replace David Krejci, and perhaps he won’t be when the Bruins make their long-term roster planning for the future. But Coyle was very good on Sunday night in a big game against Montreal with a pair of goals, including the game-winning goal where he crashed the net and had an errant clearing attempt literally go off his helmet and into the net. Coyle then added the insurance marker after stealing a puck and then burying a beautiful wrist shot past Habs goalie Sam Montembeault. In all Coyle finished with the two goals and a plus-2 rating in 18:10 of ice time, had five shot attempts, three hits and won 10-of-14 faceoffs for the B’s in a very strong two-way performance.

BY THE NUMBERS: 641 – the number of days between Bruins/Habs games dating back to the Feb. 2020 date that the two Original Six rivals last tangled prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s not one out of 82 games when you’re playing the Montreal Canadiens. It’s the Montreal Canadiens and we want to beat them every time we take the ice.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy definitely feeling the rivalry after going over 600 days between games between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.

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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Kevin

can’t struggle against the Ottawa’s and Montreal’s of the league. Good to see the B’s win back to back. CONGRATS!

Jake

Hey Haggs, Charlies is a plural not a possessive in your headline.

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