The Boston Bruins are 37-5-4. They’ve won five straight games since being shut out on home ice by the Seattle Kraken. Before that game, assistant coach John Gruden informed the team that the Kraken was near the top of the league in goals from defensemen. The Bruins? Middle of the pack. Charlie McAvoy got to thinking.
“That got us wondering, where are we in that. We wanted to be dangerous when we can. Everyone has it in their game, everyone’s scoring big goals.”
Since that Kraken shutout, it’s been liftoff for the Boston defense. During their five-game winning streak, a Bruin defenseman has scored a goal in each of those games, in addition to six of the last seven games.
The last time there was a five-game goal streak on defense for Boston? March of 2014, when Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Kevan Miller, Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk, and Torey Krug were some of the guys on the back end.
The goal streak started in the 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs when Matt Grzelcyk potted the game-winning goal, with Brandon Carlo registering an assist on that goal. Grzelcyk scored again in a runaway win over the Flyers, with assists coming from Hampus Lindholm, McAvoy twice, and Grzelcyk even adding an assist.
Heading to Long Island to face the Islanders, McAvoy and Derek Forbort picked up goals, with McAvoy and Grzelcyk picking up assists in a 4-1 win. Additionally, in a win over the Rangers the next day, Connor Clifton was the only defenseman on the board for the Bruins.
In the team’s latest win, a Sunday shutout of the San Jose Sharks, McAvoy and Lindholm scored highlight-reel goals, with McAvoy and Lindholm recording assists alongside Grzelcyk.
However, this trend hasn’t been just the last five games. In the previous seven games, dating back to January 9 against the Ducks, the defense corps combined for 17 points in that time, with each defense member registering at least one point. McAvoy leads the group with six, Grzelyck is in second with five, Lindholm is next with three, and Forbort, Clifton, and Carlo have one apiece.
The spectacular play of the Bruins’ defense is a significant reason why they’ve won nine of ten games in 2023 so far. Right now, the Bruins’ defensemen are scoring at a rate that we have not seen, making their games a lot more fun to watch. Not that it wasn’t already pretty fun.