The Bruins dominated from start to finish at TD Garden Saturday afternoon winning a laugher by a score of 7-2 over the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins will head into the Olympic break with a nine point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division. Patrice Bergeron netted two goals on the afternoon while Chris Kelly, Brad Marchand, Carl Soderberg, Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic each added a goal of their own.
The break comes at a tough time for the B’s as they are scorching hot as of late, but we are sure the players not traveling to Sochi will welcome the rest with welcome arms. Here are the three takeaways.
No carry over after tough loss in St. Louis:
A new day means a new beginning for the Boston Bruins. After suffering a tough overtime loss at the hands of the St. Louis Blues, the B’s came out fast scoring two first period goals from Bergeron and Kelly.
Heading into the Olympic break the B’s did not want a letdown against a desperate Ottawa Senators team. There was no need to worry as they drew first blood on the power-play on a beautiful give and go sequence between Carl Soderberg and Bergeron ending in Bergeron’s 15th goal on the year. Then, minutes later Kelly crashed the net on a great feed from Marshfield native David Warsofsky – tallying his first NHL assist – to give the Black and Gold a 2-0 lead.
Bergeron’s highlight reel goal (16th) in the second period gave the B’s a 3-0 lead and they never looked back.
It could have been very easy for the Black and Gold to take an edge off before the Olympic break with their Captain gone, Tuukka Rask resting and their tough loss after an outstanding comeback versus the Blues, but that is not the mentality of this team.
Lucky for the B’s, it was the Ottawa Senators who checked out for an early recess.
No Chara, no problem for Bruins young defensemen
We all know what Zdeno Chara brings on a nightly basis. It was an enormous loss for the Black and Gold as Chara left early for the Olympics to carry his country’s flag, but Johnny Boychuk took the young defensemen under his wings.
The likes of Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski carried the load all stepping up in any way they could in the absence of their defensive leader.
Not only are the young defenseman logging heavy minutes in the absence of Chara, but they are contributing in the offensive zone. Hamilton, Krug and Warsofsky all had assists in the B’s win Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Miller knows he is ready for a bigger role although there will be some growing pains, but he knows he is ready for the challenge with or without Chara.
“I’ve said it before that I think they have a pretty good idea of what I bring to the table,” he said. “This is my third year in the system now and I think they know my game and I have tried to find my game a little bit in the last 20 games or so. It’s a work in progress. I’m still trying to get better every day at different stuff so I’m excited about it.”
The question was raised: who will step up on the defensive end when Chara left for the last two games. The answer: it took a collective effort from each of the six defensemen, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Iginla red hot entering Olympic break
Sometime “breaks” come at the worst possible moment and for Jarome Iginla the Olympic break is that time.
Iginla has been dynamite over his last eight games where he has notched four goals and ten assists (14 points) after a dry spell in early January. He is now tied for third on the B’s – along with Milan Lucic – with 17 goals. It was only a matter of time before the former Calgary Flames captain turned on the jets again.
His line has been scorching as of late. Make no mistake about it, it is due to Iginla’s stellar play over the last few weeks. Iginla, who had two goals, one assist and four hits in 16 minutes of ice time Saturday, has found his groove again along with Lucic and David Krejci and making the trio impossible to defend.