That win felt good. Real good. The Bruins downed the New Jersey Devils tonight with a convincing 4-1 performance. Other than a short burst by the Devils in the second period it was a solid rout by the black n’ gold. Ryan Spooner, Colin Miller, and Dennis Seidenberg all picked up two points for the Bruins. A few Massachusetts natives pumped home a couple goals tonight as well in Frank Vatrano (East Longmeadow), Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester), and Devils forward Bobby Farnham (North Andover). All in all this was the effort the Bruins needed to put in, much like their showing against Washington on Tuesday. Tonight they got the results.
Here are BostonPucks.com 3 Thoughts from the game:
1) Colin Miller Rode The Rookie Rollercoaster Tonight
Overall, a great performance from the rookie defenseman that everyone screams should be in the lineup every night. He made a good case tonight. In the 1st period he came out firing, literally, and as his second shot got through a crowd just 2 minutes in Frank Vatrano picked up the rebound and buried it. Shortly after he turned on the jets behind the Bruins net to escape the forecheck, hit warp speed by center ice, and got it deep in New Jersey’s end with ease. Follow that up with his poor decision making and gap control on the Devils lone 2nd period goal, and ripping the laser of the year in the 3rd past Corey Schneider for a goal “that totally redeemed himself” and we’d seen it all. That’s the life of an NHL rookie blue liner. And he should stay in the lineup. Have a look at his laser below:
2) Vatrano Breaks Through
Secondary scoring, secondary scoring, secondary scoring. It’s what Boston needs. Frank Vatrano delivered it tonight just 2:02 into the game with a great rebound goal. Vatrano had been dry the previous 7 games, which was a goalless streak that began right after his hat trick in Pittsburgh back on December 18th. It’s normal to see rookies hit peaks and valleys in their first NHL season so any time you can put an end to it sooner than later it’s always a good thing. An early goal was the perfect thing for Boston’s confidence tonight, and even more so coming from a guy who needed to end his drought.
3) Spooner Stepping Up In Krejci’s Absence
Ryan Spooner had another two points tonight. He got the second assist on the Colin Miller blast goal and he scored on a wrist shot from the high slot through a Matt Beleskey screen. Spooner has recorded 6 points (1 goal and 5 assists) in the 4 games since Krejci’s injury. It’s not just the points that Spooner is putting up, he has improved a ton overall since the beginning of the season. He is having a much bigger impact 5-on-5. Earlier in the season he was mainly racking up the power play points, but tonight both of his points came at even strength. Last year the Bruins were not able to weather the storm when Krejci went down with an injury but if Spooner can stay hot the Bruins just might be able to stay afloat until Krejci returns.
- Tonight was the last game of Marchand’s 3 game suspension. He will be back for tomorrow night’s game in Ottawa. It will be interesting what Claude will do with the lines. The Spooner, Beleskey and Connolly line was very good tonight.
- Jonas Gustavsson continues to be solid enough to get the job done. He only faced 20 shots tonight but it was great timing to have him in against a depleted Devils team. He’s now 7-3-1 on the year with a .909 save percentage.
- No fireworks from David Pastrnak in his return tonight but it did help with what we pointed out in an earlier blog today. His presence changes the lineup and gets depth guys back into more fitting roles. Connolly was dropped to the Spooner line, which clicked tonight. And Ferraro returned to the 4th line which helped the performance of that unit as well.