Jake DeBrusk was back in the lineup for the Boston Bruins on Sunday night and made an immediate impact in a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks that extended the Bruins’ season-opening win streak to five games.
DeBrusk started the play that led to Matt Poitras’ first NHL goal and the game-tying goal 6:29 into the third period and then grabbed the primary assist on Poitras’ second tally 3:51 later that proved to be the game-winning goal.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 23, 2023
But the bigger impact on his teammates, especially the younger ones like the 19-year-old rookie Poitras, may have come in his postgame media scrum.
“We have a high standard on this team,” DeBrusk said, addressing his tardiness right off the bat. “I broke a team rule, and I understand that there’s consequences with that. I own up to it completely. I let the guys down. I wanted to join them in L.A. [on Saturday]. Having to watch really sucked. I felt it. I just wanted to do anything I could to help the team out today in any way…I’m proud to be a Bruin and proud of the standards we have here.”
This was the first time that Jake DeBrusk had addressed reporters since he was late for a team meeting on Saturday and subsequently benched for the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The Boston Bruins winger, who is in the final season of a two-year, $8 million contract, could’ve said he was ‘moving on’ and swayed the conversation to another topic.
Or DeBrusk could’ve taken the Tyler Seguin route, who was benched for a game in Winnipeg in December 2011 after missing a team breakfast. Seguin, apparently unaware of time zone differences at the time, claimed he missed the breakfast because he left his alarm clock on Eastern Standard Time. Being in the central time zone that would’ve made Seguin an hour early.
Instead, the 27-year-old winger not only owned his mistake but also reiterated how proud he is to be part of the Boston Bruins, which eliminates any ideas that DeBrusk may be unhappy with what more than one source has indicated to Boston Hockey Now is basically stalled contract talks with the Bruins. Yes, as Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told yours truly at the Oct. 9 team media day, the two sides are talking, but by all accounts, there has yet to be any real bargaining.
That could obviously be because the Bruins are waiting to see how DeBrusk performs without now-retired centers David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron feeding him the puck. If that is the case, DeBrusk’s performance on Sunday, on and off the ice, showed that he’s more than willing to prove himself, and unlike when, almost two years ago now, he requested a trade, DeBrusk does not want out but very much wants to stay.