In the month of January we got to see many facets of the Boston Bruins. We saw them pull out a rough California road trip, where the Boston Bruins were only able to score two points and two babies. (Congratulations to Johnny Boychuk and the entire Boychuk family.) Last week, we saw the Bruins go 1-1-1 for the week. They were beaten handily by a desperate and cagey Toronto Maple Leafs, took the Chicago Blackhawks to a shootout in one of the best hockey games we’ve seen all year, and got some payback on Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and the rest of the Dallas Stars.
The Bruins are still hurting on the blue line. Bruins defensemen (and roommates) Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton are still out of the line up (but listed as day-to-day). The Bruins offense has taken off a bit as of late, and it seems the Bruins may finally be shaking off what was a very rough patch for the Black and Gold. They’re still first in the Atlantic Division, and only five points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. So, here is who we think the Bruins Three Stars of the Week are:
Third Star: Chad Johnson. While this may surprise some of you. He’s earned the slot. He went .941 in his game against Dallas (while playing half the game with only one working eye), and went .941 against the Los Angeles Kings after the Kings early firepower chased Tuukka Rask out of net. A lot of us weren’t thrilled with him in Boston, and some of us were incensed that he wore the number of Cheevers and Thomas. He’s quietly and confidently picked up an inheritance very few goaltenders would want and has earned the respect of the team, and many of a formerly hostile fan base.
Second Star: Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron put up five points last week for Boston. He scored in both the Dallas and Toronto games, and got an assist in all three. Bergeron is currently tied in third for points with Milan Lucic (32). Bergeron is also the only member of the squad to be selected for Team Canada. What makes Bergeron so good at his job is that he helps his wingers (Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith) so much better. He put in twenty five shifts and over nineteen minutes of ice-time in each of the three games, and went +5 for the week. That’s great for a good week, but phenomenal when the Bruins had a rough 1-1-1 week.
First Star: Brad Marchand. Marchand had a very anemic start to his season. It led this blogger to suggest that we should scratch him for a game to get his head cleared up. Thankfully, he didn’t need that. He put in four goals in the last three games (plus an additional two against the Kings yesterday, including an incredible 1-on-4 short-handed goal that will likely end up in his career highlight reel). He now leads the league in shorthanded goals (four). He’s come alive in the bottom half of the season, and he’s back to being the ‘Little Ball of Hate’ we love to watch play, and love to watch the annoyance from the Bruins opponents.