It would have been impressive if the Bruins came out and scored more than three goals in tonight's game after they played and won a 6-1 game against the New Jersey Devils last night. No one could have asked them to put on the same kind of performance they showcased less than 24 hours ago.
They just did it themselves.
Showing little fatigue after a late night, the B's added another two points to their divisional lead with a crushing 9-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday, expanding the difference between themselves and next best Toronto Maples Leafs by eight points And they did it in impressive fashion.
For starters, the Bruins went into the game without one of the team's leading scorers, Brad Marchand, who was scratched with "flu-like symptoms." Replacing him on the line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin was Benoit Pouliot. Whatever sneaking doubts some had about how well those two would gel together with Pouliot were quickly put to rest, just minutes into the first period.
In just the second shift of the game, Pouliot broke into Calgary's zone and passed it off to Bergeron. Bergeron skated his way around the net and noticed Tyler Seguin crashing through the slot. He threw the pass out front just in time, and Seguin was able to one-time it into the net, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead 1:14 into the game.
They opened the wound, and there was no healing after that.
The Bruins scored two more times in the period, first from Milan Lucic two minutes after the first was scored, and then David Krejci netted one via the power play five minutes after that.
Patrice Bergeron garnered goals 10 and 11 tonight, after picking up goals number eight and nine last night. He only has four shots between the two games, but he also has four goals within that span.
Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille each contributed with a goal as well, and forward Nathan Horton was accountable for two goals tonight after picking up one last night as well.
Perhaps one of the most impressive stats doesn't come from the offensive lines on the scoresheet, but from the man in between the pipes. Now, people knew that the goaltending was good, but just how good?
Tuukka Rask just completed his fourth shutout in five games, adding up 276:08 minutes, while allowing only one single goal in that span. Meanwhile, in that same time frame, his teammates have put up 26 goals, leaving the Bruins outscoring their opponents when Rask is in net in these last five games 26-1.
But you do have to keep in mind the offense. Once again, all four lines scored a goal tonight, and that's something that has been key to the Bruins success not only this year, but last season as well.
"Yeah I think it’s confidence honestly," Bergeron said. "I think the depth we’ve been talking about all year has been helping us a lot, but four lines feeling confident, feeling good about themselves obviously helps a lot. And every line wants to contribute and go out there and find ways to score."
The team is 22-0-0 when they score three or more goals in a game.
"Like I said I’d like to think we got some good depth and we’re a well-balanced hockey club and we take advantage of that," head coach Claude Julien said. "But at the same time, you can have that, but everybody seems to understand we play a certain way. Right now when you have 20 players on same page every night, it creates success."
The next challenge comes on Saturday where they will faceoff against the Vancouver Canucks for the first time since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last year. While they recognize it will be a fun and big game, Bergeron and his teammates are looking at it like it's just another game and focusing just as much as they would any other game.
"Yeah it’s going to be a huge game," Bergeron said. "I mean obviously it’s a tough team. We’ve seen it last year, it’s a team that’s very physical, a lot of talent, great power play and now we know them more than we used to last year. And it’s going to be a tough battle and I know it’s going to be an exciting game and we’re all looking forward to it. You know we’re going to do the same thing you know, do the job and play the full 60 minutes and worry about the first period right away."