On Trade Deadline day, Peter Chiarelli made the necessary moves and acquired defenseman Andrej Meszaros as well as claiming defenseman Corey Potter off waivers to bolster their depth on the blue line.
Neither suited up against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at TD Garden nor were they needed as the B’s turned in one of their best defensive efforts of the season in their 3-0 win.
The Black and Gold held the Capitals to 16 shots on the night including only eight shots through the game’s first two periods.
It was the fourth time this season the B’s held an opponent under 20 shots this time helping Tuukka Rask to his sixth shutout this season which leads the National Hockey League.
It was clearly the best game the B’s have played since the Olympic break dominating offensively and defensively for a full 60 minutes.
The B’s didn’t even have to exhaust Captain Zdeno Chara either. He was third in ice time for the B’s blue liners on the night logging only 20:38 while Johnny Boychuk led the team with 21:52 and Matt Bartkowski was a close second with 21:23 of ice time.
Head Coach Claude Julien applauded the B’s defensive effort against the Capitals and was happy with his team’s defensive improvements over the last few games.
Julien usually doesn’t point out individuals, but on this night he was raving over the play of Matt Bartkowski.
“He was really good tonight, if you ask me, but I think that’s what goes back to what I said this morning,” Julien said. “You know, having those guys come in-we’ve got eight D’s now and now it becomes a competition from within our dressing room and the six best will be in the lineup. Right now, that’s what you’ve got and I think it’s a healthy thing to have on a hockey club and that’s what we’ve created right now. You know, when you talk about his game tonight, I thought he was really good. He was physical, he was strong, he was moving the puck well and he skated well, so that kind of play will certainly keep him in the lineup.”
Patrice Bergeron who recorded eight shots on the night while adding an assist and posting a plus-2 rating was also extremely satisfied with the way the defense played throughout the entire game against the Capitals.
“Yeah, they were great,” Bergeron said. “It creates a lot of chances for us offensively as well. You know, we don’t spend too much time in our zone and we’re right back on the attack and that makes a huge difference.”
It was quite evident after the game the entire B’s team agreed that this was the best defensive effort they had in quite some time.
Sure, it’s nice that the B’s held the Capitals to 16 shots on the night and turned in a great defensive effort, but it would be great if they could build off this heading off on a three game road trip and turn in multiple impressive defensive efforts.
Consistency is the key to the B’s success, most importantly on the defensive end.
Hear what the Bruins had to say following their 3-0 win over the Capitals: