BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points after the Boston Bruins racked up their fifth-straight victory with a 4-3 overtime win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden Saturday:
GOLD STAR: Bruins And Preds
That was playoff hockey in January! If you can name me a better game the Boston Bruins have played in during this 2021-22 regular season and prove it, I will send you a sixer of your favorite beer or a bottle of your favorite wine($25 or under) or liquor ($30 or under) next week. The Bruins and Predators combined for a total of 91 hits with the visitors holding a slight 46-45 edge. Twice the Preds came back to tie the game and twice the B’s took the lead back with the final dagger being Hall’s overtime winner.
“Very, to be honest with you,” Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy responded when he was asked how happy he was the way his team responded physically. “We tried to finish the checks that were there; I don’t know what the hits were on both sides but the hits were there, probably one of the higher numbers of quantity hits on both sides. Certainly, everybody is capable of it. We saw that with ‘Marchy’ [Brad Marchand] on [Dante] Fabbro, then drills Josi in overtime, clean hit.
So, they were out there, take em. I thought Taylor Hall had a good hit and take the ones where you gotta rub people out. Finish and jump into the play. So all in all, as you describe it as a playoff-style game and we responded well. They had a good push in the second and we knew they would; probably the only area of the game that we were not at our best, and got it back at the end of the second. Got our game back where we wanted it and we addressed that going into the second intermission, that we found our game, we got into it, and let’s go! I thought we were the better team in the third and eventually got the win.”
🚨GAME OVER, Bs WIN🚨
— Hockey Night in New England (@HockeyNightInNE) January 15, 2022
BLACK EYE: Pasta’s Turnover
Let’s just go to, first the video of David Pastrnak’s turnover that led to Josi’s game-tying goal 6:26 into the third period.
Roman Josi ties it up.
Yikes, that’s a bad turnover for David Pastrnak.
— Blake Thorne (@_BlakeThorne) January 15, 2022
And now my tweets on that turnover:
That's where the #NHLBruins miss having Pasta with Bergeron and Marchand. More often than not, they're a safety net for Pasta's brain cramps.
*That's not a shot at Pasta. Just the truth. For everything else he does, they can take the brain cramps here and there.
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) January 15, 2022
That pretty much sums that up.
TURNING POINT: Bruins Penalty Kill
The Boston Bruins killed off both Nashville Predators’ powerplays but shutting down the second Predators’ powerplay seemed to bring the Boston Bruins back together as an overall unit. Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen went to the sin-bin for tripping at 13:34 with the game tied at three. In a back-and-forth game like this, that Nashville Predators’ powerplay had the potential to be a gamechanger but the PK came up huge for the Boston Bruins.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie McAvoy
Prior to the Boston Bruins extending their win streak to five games, Cassidy was asked about McAvoy and how he was acclimating back into the lineup after a two-game absence due to a lower-body injury that kept him out from Jan. 4-10:
“A little lower-body injury that he’s played through, a little discomfort,” Cassidy replied. ‘Yeah, I think he Philly game, he had a couple of puck plays that he wouldn’t usually make but that happens through the course of the year, whether that’s injury or not I wouldn’t know but I suspect he’ll be better today in that area and again, like a lot of the players, especially the good ones, they’re gonna get extra attention out there so they gotta make sure they’re mentally ready to go and fight through it. He’ll be able to do that; he’s a leader on our team and I suspect he’ll have his game back today.”
Cassidy was dead on as McAvoy once again, in a very physical game, reminded the league that so far this season, he’s a legit Norris Trophy candidate. The Bruins’ best defenseman assisted on Marchand’s powerplay goal that gave the Bruins the lead 3:50 into the third period. He also had three shots, six hits, and two blocked shots in 27:44 TOI.
Following the win, Hall praised McAvoy for elevating the game of every fellow Bruins rearguard he’s paired with:
“He’s such a good player…That’s a real skill to have, to play with anyone…I think the world of Charlie as a guy and a teammate,” Hall said.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) January 15, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: Faceoff Anomaly
With one of the best faceoff masters of the last 20 years in Bergeron, the Boston Bruins rarely lose at the Faceoff dot. Oddly, that wasn’t the case Saturday as the Predators took the faceoff battle 45-29 and Bergeron went 14 of 18 at the dot.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Work, win and have fun. Don’t mess up the order of it” – Cassidy quoting his former coach and current Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. That’s exactly what the Bruins are doing right now.