Chris Kelly had one of the best statistical starts to his career for the Boston Bruins this 2011-12 NHL season. He was a part of why the Bruins were so dominant in the early going, but as the team has been struggling in February into late March, Kelly was nowhere to be found. Today, in a must win game for the black and gold, Kelly netted his 17th goal of the season.
Kelly knew the team needed to come out today with some hop in their step after allowing the opponents to score first the past eight games.
“Yeah, I thought we had good energy that first period,” Kelly said. “Obviously, we had a few chances and it was really nice to get that first one and then obviously get the second one. It felt good coming in after the first, it’s something we haven’t had in a while.”
Kelly had great chemistry with his line mates today which was evident early on when he netted his first goal in six games.
“Yeah, it was a good break out I thought, Rolly (Brian Rolston) to Benny (Benoit Pouliot) and Benny down the wing it’s one of those things you practice over and over again,” Kelly said. “It kind of becomes routine, but obviously it helped tonight that we just drove the net and were able to chip it by him.”
Claude Julien had high praise for his team clicking in the first period and getting off to a fast start versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
“It certainly set the tone for the game,” Julien said. “That’s the one thing we wanted to do and when you haven’t done that in a while, it’s obviously a good feeling. It really brings back the confidence and that was important for us and our guys were mentally ready for it.”
Kelly went on to add that it was a total team effort against the Flyers, and no team meeting was necessary in his eyes.
“I thought yesterday we had a good practice after that flight whatever the guys did last night when we got home we just said to come ready to have a good game and a good start and I thought everyone contributed tonight and it was a great team effort,” Kelly said.
Kelly has 17 goals and 14 assists in 71 games played — and in order for the Bruins to make another Stanley Cup run — Kelly needs to play as he did early on in the season.