Boston Bruins: Talking Points for the B’s 2-1 win over the Hurricanes.


Nov 4, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated at the bench after his goal against the Florida Panthers during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins had to overcome an early series of mistakes and battle from behind against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins active top line, centered by Patrice Bergeron helped push the B’s past the Canes and give the Bruins a much needed boost of confidence and two points for Boston. While this win doesn’t fully wipe away the pain from the recent road trip, it gives the B’s their eleventh win of the season, and their fifth straight home win. Here are the important things to take from this afternoon’s game.

Tuukka Rask redeemed himself. Rask came off his worst start in the season during the B’s recent Canadian road trip. It was important for him to go out there and re-establish himself in people’s minds as a world class goaltender. By and large he succeeded this afternoon. He stopped thirty three of thirty four shots in the win today, and earned his First Star of the Game. He’s now 9-5 with a 2.56 goals against average, and a still presentable .908 save percentage.

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“You always have to feel confident about your game,” said Rask after the game. “You aren’t going to say, ‘I’m going to have a bad game tomorrow.’ I thought that I played a solid sixty minutes today. I saw the puck pretty well, and I thought we defended pretty good. Although I don’t think it was the most entertaining game to watch — it was pretty slow at times, there — but it was a good win.”

Milan Lucic plays better when he’s angry. Milan Lucic played with a passion he’s been missing for most of the season. That anger was fuel, and it powered him to one of his better performances this season. It was also his best game on the ice without his usual center, David Krejci. He didn’t put any points up for the B’s, but his presence was felt in every other way on the ice. He finished the game with six hits, two solid shots on goal and played his best defensively minded game in his 19:39 of ice time. Lucic earned Third Star of the Game for his all-around performance. It’s great to see ‘Looch the Gooch’ back in action, and hopefully this will lead to more points for Boston.

“I think it’s probably the most important part about going into today’s game, was upping our compete level and emotional level and all that, and our physical play. So it was a good start getting back on track as far as those things went, so we’ve got to keep that on a high level in order for us to keep winning hockey games. – Milan Lucic

Matt Bartkowski played better. Bartkowski had been sitting for the month on November as a healthy scratch. With all the troubles the Bruins have been having on the blue line in Canada, the Bruins didn’t have much to lose by suiting him up against Carolina. Bartkowski took this chance at redemption and made a solid go of it. While he did have a giveaway, his number of mental mistakes were far lower than they were earlier in the season. He also had two hits today, with four shots on goal, and was a +1 for the game. He was even trusted to spend time on the penalty kill, and made no errors in his 1:08 PK time. He finished with 17:37 of ice time, and has begun to rebuild his name with the fans.

Patrice Bergeron is still the total package.  He’s number thirty-seven on the roster, and number one in the hearts of a lot of the fan base. Patrice Bergeron didn’t just score the game winning goal for the Bruins. Bergeron (who finished the B’s sweep with Second Star of the Game) returned to his winning ways in the face off circle, winning more than half of his draws. He went even against the Hurricanes, with 2:00 on the power play, 2:13 on the penalty kill, and a total of 19:32 ice time. He had two shots on goal, one hit, and a blocked shot of his own.

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  • The Bergeron line showed solid signs of returning to form this afternoon. He was especially in sync with Brad Marchand (who earned his one hundredth career assist on the goal) on the go-ahead goal for Boston. Marchand easily outmaneuvered two Carolina players to get the puck to Bergeron. He then fired it through traffic and a screen by Reilly Smith.

    The Bruins are still improving.  Gregory Campbell had a good game, as did his fellow veteran Merlot Man Daniel Paille. It’s a shame the ref made a questionable call on Campbell denying Paille’s third period goal.  (If you’ve seen the replay, you saw the Campbell at no point made contact with Cam Ward.) Coach Claude Julien was pleased with the B’s, but know they’ve got work to do to get back to firing on all cylinders. “It’s better. Obviously a step in the right direction,” offered the Bruins bench boss after the match. “I thought we were overall better, the second period was better. Certainly not where we want to be yet. But when you’ve gone through what you’ve gone through the last two games, I don’t think you’re just going to turn the page and all of a sudden be what you were. We’ve got to build ourselves back up there, and [Saturday] was a good start.”