There have been a number of similarities in the past three games for the Bruins. Number one being, they have won in all three games, and have done so in an impressive, beat-you-to-a-pulp kind of way. The Black and Gold have outscored their opponents--the Senators, the Maple Leafs and most recently, the Islanders-- by an impressive 18-5 margin. Milan Lucic has accounted for four of those goals after starting off slowly.
The first line has been on a roll and everyone else has too. Second-year youngin Tyler Seguin has been the spring in the Bruins offense when no one else seemed to be able to score. He now has a four game point streak and has four goals and an assist in these past three games.
While these numbers speak for themselves, perhaps the most interesting point is how these goals are scored. They come in bunches, and they come at the most crucial times in the game.
Take a look starting back in the game against the Senators. Johnny Boychuk’s blast in the third period put the Bruins up 4-3 and gave the bench a new sense of urgency and energy. 51 seconds later, Daniel Paille came through on a breakaway and netted another goal to give the Bruins a two goal lead with less than 13 minutes to go in the third period. Boston won that game 5-3.
Fast forward to Saturday’s matchup against the Maple Leafs. The Bruins hadn’t won back-to-back games all season, and they were going up against a team that had won four of their last five games. No one was sure how they were going to come out against a team like that after having such an emotionally exciting one with the Senators.
But that emotion was still there. And in fact, it tripled.
Not once, but three times, the Bruins scored one goal and then proceeded to score again just moments later, creating an impossible circumstance for Toronto. In that game, Seguin scored 32 seconds into the second period, and had Lucic follow right behind eight seconds later with another goal. At that point, the game was 3-0. To add insult to injury, the Bruins did it again, when Seguin scored his third goal of the night at 15:01 in the second. Krejci took the hint and netted his second goal of the season, fourteen seconds later at 15:15. And finally, to make sure that every line had a goal on the night, Lucic scored late in the third, and Gregory Campbell made sure to put the puck in the net 28 seconds later.
And now, last night’s game. Tied for last place in the Conference, and facing an Islanders team that came off a big win against the Capitals. The hope and the intrigue was there, but no one was sure how they would come out again. But they picked up right where they left off. Twice again on Monday the Bruins scored twice in a short amount of time, although this time Horton was the catalyst.
In the first period, Horton put the Bruins up 2-0 on the power play with a rebounded effort. 29 seconds later and Seguin added to the domination. And again in the third, Lucic was able to get a toss from Seguin in front of the net and provide a 4-2 cushion for the B’s only for Horton to come back again and add even more cushion to their already growing lead.
So what’s changed and why are they so good are getting these goals in clumps all of sudden. Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said that this is how they want to play and how they can play and they just needed to get back to those ways.
"That’s how we are when we’re feeling good and playing well and we don’t want to stop," Bergeron said. "We’re going to keep going at it. They were down three nothing against Washington in their building and they won the game so we knew that it’s the type of team that doesn’t quit, so we had to make sure we kept going at them."
Claude Julien said much of the same thing. The Bruins have found a niche in their game and they aren’t looking to take their foot off the pedal at any point. Once they hit a sore spot or find a weak link in their opponents plays, they stick to it and nag until it breaks.
"I think it’s just more about, when we score a goal, we seem to come back the next shift and really, we’ve always emphasized how important that shift following the goal for or against is," Julien said. "Our guys just have been good at responding when they go back, and they get off to a real good shift. In Toronto, same thing – scored a couple of quick goals. Tonight, same thing. It’s just paying attention to little details and what every part of the game means to your hockey club, and our guys are just responding to that right now.
"It’s, as I mentioned, we’ve really put a lot of emphasis on following up with a strong shift after a goal scored or after a goal against because it’s about holding on to the momentum or regaining it. We’re at the stage now where we’ve been together for a long time, so you keep pushing the little details on the guys, and every year, you try and add some things, and it just hopefully gets better. That’s an area right now that we’ve responded well to."