On Monday night, the Boston Bruins were facing one of their toughest tests of the season when they faced off the vastly improved Winnipeg Jets. Both teams were in the top-three of the league and both were very hungry.
The Bruins, however, were coming off a 9-4 victory at home and wanted payback for a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Jets when they visited the Canada Life Centre back in December.
Boston got just that, as it defeated Winnipeg by a score of 4-1 at the TD Garden Monday night. Not only did the Bruins extend their point streak to nine games (and win streak to five), but they also ended a streak of 30+ games where the Jets had allowed three goals or less.
Here's what we can take away from the game.
Jake DeBrusk is HIM
Honestly, how Jake DeBrusk has not been an All-Star at this point in his career is beyond me. Maybe it's the fact that the clutch factor is not put into perspective when voting for All-Stars, but it sure as heck should be!
In the game, DeBrusk scored what turned out to be an important insurance goal. The tally gave him 12 on the season, and increased his point total to 25 in 45 games. It gave him three games in a row with a goal, and five points in the last three games. Most impressively about DeBrusk it seems he has been out there for a lot of his guys goals recently, as he holds a +6 rating in his last five games.
Earlier in season, I talked about how essential it was that he have a good season, and while one would not necessarily classify this as a good season in general, it is for DeBrusk whose career-high in goals is 27 - just 15 away from where his goal total sits right now.
Swayman proved why he's an All-Star
These days, a lot of the players that get voted into All-Star games are due to both their popularity and appeal to the fans. It seems like, at the end of the day, goaltender Jeremy Swayman got voted in for both his popularity and appeal to fans, but also his stellar play on the ice.
Monday night was one of the biggest, if not, the absolute biggest games this season so far. Swayman proved that the moment was not too big for him, and he did it so casually. The fourth-year goaltender stopped 20 of 21 shots, and also held the visitor's in check when needed.
And to think just a year ago, media types (myself NOT included) were calling for him to be traded last year... It's starting to look like he may be making a name for himself in Boston, and fellow netminder Linus Ullmark may be on his way out the door.
Boston has depth
To say that Boston has depth, would be putting it mildly.
Yes, Monday night's game was capped off by an empty-net goal by Brad Marchand, but I would be re-miss if I did not mention the fact that not a single goal came from David Pastrnak - although he did tally an assist - and the leading points-getter was none other than Charlie Coyle (one goal, one assist). Not to mention, the first goal coming off the stick of Jakub Lauko, just his second of the season.
What this shows is that when Marchand or Pastrnak are being shut down, maybe it isn't the end of the world. Maybe it's just simply time to distribute the puck to other goal scorers, or at least other people who can get to the front of the net.
What's next for the Bruins?
The Bruins' next game is on Wednesday when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the TD Garden - puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on TNT and Max.