By: Patrick Donnelly
After losing 8-5 to Vancouver in a loss that makes you delete the footage and start fresh, the Bruins certainly bounced back this weekend with dominant wins over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night and the Golden Knights on Sunday night. Here are my takeaways from this weekend’s action:
Halak is your man for now:
With Tuukka Rask on a leave of absence for personal reasons, Jaro Halak played in both games in this weekend’s back-to-back slate. Halak was dominant on Saturday night versus the Leafs, stopping 40 of 41 shots, 20 of which came in the first frame. As the Bruins got overwhelmed territorially in the beginning of this matchup, Halak looked good and kept the team in it early.
The veteran net-minder looked dominant once again against a struggling Vegas Golden Knights team on Sunday night, stopping 37 of 38 shots as the Bruins won, 4-1. Halak earned first star of the game honors, boosting his save percentage to .945 and his goals against average to 1.77, second to only Pekka Rinne in both categories.
The first line is unstoppable:
What a time to be alive. This trio is absolutely unstoppable and such a treat to watch. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand combined for 13 points in the two games, having a hand in six out of nine Bruins goals scored this weekend. Pastrnak had a hat trick Saturday night and added another goal on Sunday, bringing his goal total to 16, leading the entire NHL with the next closest total at 12.
Bergeron and Pastrnak also sit at second and fourth in the NHL in points with 25 and 23, respectively. The chemistry among the three was on display all weekend with dazzling exhibitions of east-west passing in the offensive zone, especially on the power play. At the rate they’re going right now, David Pastrnak might score 30 goals by Christmas.
Could the depth finally be coming alive?:
David Krejci had two assists this weekend and Joakim Nordstrom added a goal while Danton Heinen scored a goal off an Anders Bjork assist on Sunday. The second and third lines both looked good, especially given the fact that they had largely been invisible lately. Bruce Cassidy’s third combination of Heinen, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, and Bjrok was impressive in both games this weekend, especially JFK.
Although he didn’t show up on the scoresheet (he got robbed of an assist on Heinen’s goal on Sunday), JFK looked very solid this weekend, compared to what he showed in the preseason. He skated well, was assertive, used his abilities with the puck to his advantage, and held his own at the face-off dot. Hopefully this spells signs of consistency to come as the Bruins cannot continue as a one line team, no matter how good that one line his.