(Source: Boston) – They put together a concerted, focused piece of work on home ice, kept grinding while getting pushed back and ultimately were just better than the Red Wings by a 3-1 score at TD Garden. After a couple of days of getting criticized by head coach Claude Julien and president Cam Neely, it was clear the Bruins player had been itching to respond to the call.
Saturday night our beloved Bruins put together a 60-minute performance to capture a much needed 3-1 home win over Detroit. Just as important as the win was the manner in which they won. There are a few things that need to remain consistent for Boston moving forward in order to build on the recent victory.
First, Tuukka Rask needs to keep this play up. He really looked back to his old form the other night, and appears to have turned the corner the last few games. A nice wrinkle that I didn’t expect to see yet helps Rask a lot is the Bruins switched it up and played a real defensive style to start the game. They clogged up the neutral zone, slowed it down, and really set the tone. That style eased them into the game nicely and gave Tuukka extra support. It showed too. Detroit only had 13 shots in the first two periods.
Also, Boston’s goals all came at even strength. They need to remain a threat 5-on-5. The power play isn’t the issue like it has been in years past but special teams should be a boost to the offense, not the only option. It’s not a surprise that when the Bruins played a more defensive style Saturday night that their even strength units played better. A solid d-zone and breakout leads to better offense. We’ve seen this team plagued by flying to zone too early and soft neutral zone play this year. That wasn’t an issue against Detroit.
The next 5 games are against San Jose, Minnesota, Toronto (twice), and Detroit again. They are all very winnable games, with the next 3 straight at home. The Bruins have to make a statement that they’re rounding the corner and get the job done against this portion of their schedule. It’s no longer “the first few games” coming out of preseason. At the end of this stretch the season is already quarter finished and we’ll really start to see what we have here. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them stick with that tight defense, clogged up neutral zone style against some of these upcoming opponents. It worked Saturday, it helped Tuukka, and 5-on-5 units benefitted greatly. Use that same effort and formula and go get those wins. It’s time.