It looks like the Boston Bruins have put their mid-season slump behind them after winning three of their last four games.
On Saturday in their first meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014, the Bruins put a 6-1 beat down on their hated rival where Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith each netted goals for the Black and Gold.
Over their last four games and counting, the B’s second line has got the team back on track. With the red-hot Brad Marchand, the always consistent Bergeron and the pleasant surprise of Smith who was an afterthought in the Tyler Seguin megadeal.
Smith has one goal and three assists in his last four games while his line mates Bergeron and Marchand have a combined seven goals and five assists. The line is clicking on all cylinders. We saw the first-line carry the load in Philadelphia, but the likes of Marchand-Bergeron and Smith have done their part recently to keep the B’s in the hunt for their first Atlantic division title.
Marchand happily approved of his line’s performance recently after Monday’s win against the Los Angeles Kings.
“Yeah, I think I knew that stretch was eventually going to come around,” Marchand said. “I mean the bounces had to start going our way and I mean it’s nice that pucks are going in. I’m playing with Bergy (Patrice) and Smitty (Reilly Smith), two phenomenal playmakers, and they’re making it easier for me out there.”
Patrice Bergeron noted that Marchand’s confidence has made him become so lethal in the last few weeks which then translates into their line becoming more dangerous.
One play from Saturday’s game that stood out was the hustle by Reilly Smith turning his defense into offense beating three Flyer skaters for his 16th goal of the season.
Smith deflected any credit for his goal, but joked after the game about trying to get his line mate a goal.
“We were trying to find Brad at the end, you know,” Smith said. “Just to keep his hot streak going, but I don’t think he’ll cool down too much.”
Although the second line has been crucial the last few weeks, Head Coach Claude Julien stressed the depth of the team and we saw that today with all four lines dominating from start to finish although we just saw results from the first and second lines.
“The more you can spread the scoring around, the tougher team you are to defend against, so it’s important that we get that,” Julien said. “There are teams, as you know, that have the one guy that leads the way, and you have to shut him down. It makes it a lot tougher for them to win. So we like the fact that we’re well-balanced and the scoring is spread out.”
The B’s second line as a whole has three dynamic players on it. Put each of them on a separate line and each of those players will be great. Because the B’s are so well-balanced and deep, they play together and right now they are showing the rest of the National Hockey League why they are the most talked about second line.