Boston Bruins 3 Stars of the Week March 30 – April 5


Mar 31, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) congratulates goalie Tuukka Rask (40) after defeating the Florida Panthers 3-2 at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

As the playoff race has heated up in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, so have the Boston Bruins. Over the course of the past few weeks Boston has gone from contending for a fifth place seed, to being on the outside looking in, to being in a three way tie for sixth place, with just three points separating them from fourth place. Critics and doubters have been rabid in Boston, and the Bruins have proven them all wrong during their recent hot streak. The Stanley Cup doesn’t care what the first 82 games look like, it only cares about the 16 wins come spring time.

While the past week may not have been a full-team effort, they key players once again came up with the key plays when the team needed them most. It may be disappointing that this season has been filled with streaky performances by players that are expected to lead the team, but with pleasant surprises like the dynamic combo of Lucic, Pastrnak, and Spooner, the Bruins have been able to string together a successful season.

Third Star- Patrice Bergeron

Bergeron didn’t see a point in any of this week’s games, with the exception of Saturday night’s tilt with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was the only Bruin to find the back of the net. Not only did Bergeron put the Bruins ahead 19 seconds into the second period, but when the game went to the shootout, it was Bergy who single handedly lifted Boston over the second-to-last place Maple Leafs. Bergeron has been one of the few Bruins plays who consistently steps up in big-time situations. Add last night’s game to the resume and it is clear why Bergeron is known as Captain Clutch in Boston.

Second Star- Tuukka Rask

In the week’s three games Rask’s numbers don’t jump off the page, that is besides Thursday night’s come-from-behind win over the seventh place Red Wings. The Bruins defense was slim to none for the better part of the game’s first 40 minutes. Tuukka’s clutch saves kept Boston within swinging distance, and arguably inspired the Bruins to come back and score three, third period goals to top Detroit 3-2. Rask stopped 35 of 37 shots and once again proved his case as an elite goaltender. It’s unfortunate that the Bruins defense has been so lackluster this season, had they performed to the level that many expected them to, there’s no doubt that Rask would have had a strong case in being named the Vezina winner once again.

First Star- The Lucic, Pastrnak, Spooner Combination

This week saw lines being shuffled around resulting in a number of combinations not seen before. Through all of these changes, this line continues to be the Bruins most productive. Their ability to move the puck and win battles is unparalleled through the Bruins lineup. The Panthers came to town last Tuesday clawing their way behind Boston, ready to pounce on the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. Boston fell behind late in the second, and put the Bruins in a playoff-like situation heading into the third. The red-hot youth line led the charge with two goals in the game’s final 10 minutes to allow Boston to edge the Panthers, and more than likely end Florida’s playoff aspirations. If Claude Julien wants to see continued success as the regular season concludes and the playoffs begin, he will keep this combination together as long as possible.

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