Men’s hockey commenced at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and all Boston Bruins‘ Olympians have made at least one appearance for their country since then. Tuukka Rask represented Finland in the team’s first game versus Austria, while Zdeno Chara started in the Slovakia-USA matchup on Thursday. Patrice Bergeron has played in two games for Canada, one against Norway and the other against Austria. Sweden’s Loui Eriksson and the Czech Republic’s David Krejci skated for their countries in two competitions as well.
Patrice Bergeron Stands Out As Usual
Which Bruin brought forth the best performance in the Olympics thus far? It has to be Patrice Bergeron. The B’s assistant captain, always dependable for his NHL team, is usually able to convert his talents to international play. Despite starting on the wing, Bergeron served Canada in the role of a playmaker against Norway. He assisted Shea Weber‘s slap shot on the power play and then whipped a terrific pass to Jamie Benn to give Team Canada a 2-0 lead. Still, the North American squad had trouble putting the nail in the coffin, allowing a Norway goal and only mustering one more score for themselves.
Bergeron didn’t have his best game against Austria, but in comparison to the other Bruins, he has clearly been the player to watch.
Other Bruins at the Olympics
Other than Bergy, the Bruins haven’t made their existence known in Sochi. Chara’s Slovakian team has been working through some issues on defense, although Chara hasn’t been personally responsible for most of the goals allowed. For example, in USA’s 7-1 victory over Slovakia, Chara was only on the ice for one of America’s goals. “Z” hasn’t gained any points, and his plus-minus statistic has remained even. We usually expect more from the Bruins’ big man.
Krejci has notched only one assist for the Czech Republic. He’s a very smart skater and an exceptional playmaker, but he may be acclimating himself to the large Sochi rinks. He should take on a bigger role in the Czechs’ success as the Olympics advance.
Eriksson hasn’t necessarily been a huge part of the Bruins’ prosperity this season, since he’s been battling injuries for most of the year. The Swede wasn’t expected to be a star for his country in this year’s Olympics; however, he is still a valuable player when it comes to burying goals around the crease.
Rask came into the Olympics as the starting net minder but let up four goals on 20 shots against a sub-par Austrian team. That’s an .800 save percentage, which is .128 lower than his NHL season average of 0.928. Finland’s defense isn’t the most proven group in Russia, yet Rask, in the end, hasn’t performed up to his individual standard. Finland has excellent depth at goalie, so Kari Lehtonen replaced Tuukka in the Finns’ second game versus Norway.
It’s still unclear who will be the Bruins’ player to remember at the end of the 2014 Winter Olympics.