Boston Bruins welcome back Claude Julien in 4-1 victory

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 15: David Pastrnak
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 15: David Pastrnak /

Coming off an overtime loss on Monday  against the Dallas Stars that extended the Boston Bruins point streak to 13 games, former bench boss Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens came to down tonight.  How did the team welcome back their old coach?

The Boston Bruins are 9-0-4 in their last 13 games.  The Bruins last regulation loss was over a month ago on December 14, 2017 against the Washington Capitals.  Their last three games have all gone to extra hockey, and while two of them were losses, at least the Bruins got a point out of each.  As Frank the Tank famously said:  “WE’RE GOING STREAKING!”

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – MARCH 24: Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins, center, with wife Karen and daughters Katryna Chanel and Madyson, and son Zachary is honored by Don Sweeney, General Manager of the Bruins, right, and Cam Neely, President of the Bruins, second from right, as the coach with the most wins in franchise history with 388 before the game against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on March 24, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

On a somewhat related note, there’s been a fair amount of debate in the Boston sports world recently regarding video tributes for former sports personalities.  Unlike former Boston Celtics player Isaiah Thomas, Claude Julien was 100% deserving of the huge ovation and video tribute he was given in the TD Garden.  Tonight’s game marked his first time in Boston since his February departure.

First period

The game could not have started any worse for the Bruins.  Thirty-one seconds into the game, Montreal winger Jakub Jerabek innocently threw the puck at the front of the net in the direction of a net-driving Max Pacioretty.  Unfortunately, the puck ricocheted off Zdeno Chara, and into the back of the net.  Quickly, the Bruins found themselves down 1-0.

The early Montreal goal woke up the Bs, who instantly found their skating legs.  The puck went up and down the ice, with each team containing the other for a few minutes.  At 6:50 of the period, however, the Bruins top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak came through.  Bergeron found Pastrnak wide open on the backside of the play.  The Czech winger didn’t miss, and the game was knotted at 1.

After Montreal had the first four shots of the period, the Bruins outshot them the rest of the way 12-2.  Despite Marchand, Noel Acciari, and Riley Nash all having great chances, the period ended tied at 1.

More from Causeway Crowd

Second period

Both teams looked hesitant as the second period started.  The Bruins took advantage of the Canadiens playing passive hockey.  The Habs turned the puck over to the Bs at center ice.  After getting the puck in the slot, Ryan Spooner made a slick move and an even better backhanded pass in the direction of Jake DeBrusk in front.  As DeBrusk was about to follow Chubbs Peterson’s advice and just tap it in, the puck deflected off a Montreal player and passed Carey Price.   The Bruins had their first lead of the game at 2-1.

The Bruins continued to control the play, and even kept the Canadiens without a shot on goal for 18:31 worth of game time.  The Canadiens were awarded the first power play of the game midway through the period.  The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, even after it became a 5-on-3 for over a minute.

At the end of the period the Bruins were given their first man advantage of the evening.  No goals were scored, but the team carried over about 40 seconds worth of power play time to the third period.  After two frames, the Bruins were holding onto a 2-1 lead.

Third period

The Bruins started the period with an extra man, but the forty seconds went by without much ado.  However, later in the period, the Bruins took advantage of a power play.  After putting solid pressure on the Montreal penalty killers, Brad Marchand tapped the puck into a wide open net after a net-front scramble.  The highlight of the power play didn’t even take place on the goal.  It was a smooth touch pass by Torey Krug at the point while quarterbacking the power play.

The Bs got a little sloppy after scoring their third goal of the game.  Montreal had some significant zone time, but even with tired defenders out there, Tuukka Rask was able to keep the puck out of the net.

David Backes clanged the post while in front of the net on another Bruins power play.  David Krejci hit the other one on a partial breakaway.  But other than that, the Bruins were mostly playing “hold the lead” hockey, also known as keeping the puck to the outside of the ice in your own zone and forechecking like crazy in the offensive zone.

The post-clangin’ Davids combined for an empty net goal after Claude Julien pulled Carey Price with over three minutes left.  Backes made the steal at the Habs’ blueline, and he and Krejci walked in for the 2-on-0 empty netter.  With that, the Bruins sealed a 4-1 victory.


The streak continues!  The Bruins now have points in 14 straight games, at 10-0-4 since December 14, 2017.  Montreal may not be the team they have been in the past few seasons, however, the rivalry is still real, and the Bruins have taken the last 2 against them.  They will see them again on Saturday, the third meeting for the teams in the span of a week.

Next: Honoring Willie O'Ree's Legacy

Tuukka Rask, after letting in the first shot of the game (albeit on a funky bounce), held strong and stopped the following 21 to help secure the victory.  Rask has not lost a start in regulation since November 26, 2017, going 13-0-2 over that span.  In those 15 games, he’s only given up more than 2 goals three times.  If he hadn’t started the year so poorly, he’d be pushing Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Vezina Trophy.

Oh, and welcome back Adam McQuaid.  Having missed the past 36 games after a broken leg, it was nice to see the veteran rear-guard back on the ice.  He was on the ice for 15:12, and played his usual brand of McQuaid hockey:  physical.  Oh, and he tied for the team lead with four shots on goal.  Go figure.