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Haggs: ‘Dominant’ Lindholm Has Been Bruins MVP Thus Far | BHN+

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PITTSBURGH — It was obvious that some Boston Bruins players were going to need to step up with Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy shelved until November while they were working their way back from respective offseason surgeries.

It wasn’t necessarily going to be one person stepping into the void, but more a team-wide effort that’s seen 16 different players score goals in the first 10 games of the season and has seen a remarkable spread of offense behind David Pastrnak’s 18 points scored in less than a month. But there was some solace that things would be okay on Boston’s back end without McAvoy because Hampus Lindholm had all the abilities to step into a No. 1 defenseman role for a couple of months.

That’s exactly what has happened as Lindholm has been a “dominant” impact player over the first month with Tuesday night’s four-point, overtime goal effort vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins as the lamp-lighting exclamation point at the end of the sentence.

That made Lindholm the first defenseman to record a four-point outing in the NHL this season and the fourth Bruins blue liner in the past 30 years to notch four points in a game, joining Ray Bourque (7 times), Torey Krug (twice) and Matt Grzelcyk (Jan. 10, 2022) in that exclusive blue line category.

“It’s great to see the resilience,” said Lindholm. “People are working for each other [and we’re] super stoked about the team win. We know we’ve got guys who can score on this team. We just have to stick with it. You don’t want to be down, 5-2, to a team like Pittsburgh but it shows a lot of character the way we came back.

“Overall, I’ve been feeling pretty confident about my hockey game. It’s a 60-minute hockey game so you just stick with it. I saw the defenseman fall back a little bit, so I’m just trying to shoot through him. It was really fun to see it go in.”

At this point, the 28-year-old Lindholm is second on the Bruins with 11 points in 10 games and has three goals and eight assists while logging 24:19 of ice time per game while more than holding things together without McAvoy around.

In fact, one could argue that Lindholm is the MVP over the first month for the Boston Bruins while the team is off to an amazing 9-1-0 start to the season that has them atop the Atlantic Division, and the best team in the NHL. All apologies to David Pastrnak, who has off to one of the best starts of his NHL career while helping to carry the team, but most nights Lindholm has just been that darn solid moving pucks, playing all situations and logging tons of hard ice time while maintaining an elite level of play.

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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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