The Boston Bruins find themselves with a 5-1-0 record. In a very competitive Atlantic Division, it’s just what the team needs to start the 2019-20 season.
A 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights put the Bruins on a three-game winning streak to start the campaign. The first frame was rough for Boston as they found themselves in an early 2-0 hole. They rallied back to make it 2-2 by the end of the first period and scored two more in the second to make it 4-2. Despite a late goal by Max Pacioretty in the third, the B’s were able to hold on for their third win of the season.
Next came a date with the Colorado Avalanche – the last night of their four-game road trip. The Bruins have had trouble against the Avalanche in the past, and Thursday night was no different. Boston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Nathan MacKinnon responded with a goal before the end of the first. In the second period, the Bruins had two goals challenged and overturned by the Avalanche. Colorado went on to score three unanswered goals to nab the 4-2 win.
The Bruins returned to Boston for their home opener on Saturday and didn’t disappoint. A 3-0 shutout against the New Jersey Devils was a solid response to the loss in Colorado. They followed it up with a Columbus Day win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Boston’s charge up the Atlantic Division standings hasn’t been easy, and luckily they’ve had some star power to lead the way. Here are my three stars of the week:
3rd Star: Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask began the week against the Golden Knights. A rough start to the game by the Bruins saw them down 2-0 halfway through the first period.
The two goals surrendered were hard to blame on Rask. The first one came on a power play during which Boston’s penalty-killing unit was scrambling around their own zone. The second Vegas goal was due to a cross-crease pass that went through two defensemen and found former-Bruin Reilly Smith on the doorstep.
Rask surrendered another power-play goal late in the third period. However, he was able to hold on for the win, stopping 31 of 34 shots in the process.
The netminder made another 31 stops on Saturday, this time earning a shutout. A few flashy saves aside, it seemed like a pretty routine game for the man behind the mask. Rask looked calm and collected; a brick wall that the Devils were unable to penetrate.
With a record of 2-0-0 – including a shutout – in his last two starts, the Bruins’ starting goaltender has earned the No. 3 star of the week.
2nd Star: Brad Marchand
After earning just one point through the first two games of the campaign, Brad Marchand was determined to remind the league that he was a 100-point player last season.
The winger started the week off with a three-point night in Vegas, tallying two goals and a helper. He followed this up with an assist in Colorado and a two-point night against New Jersey. On Columbus Day, Marchand tallied another assist, marking a five-game point streak.
However, Marchand hasn’t just been clogging the scoresheet this week – he’s been a gamechanger. His two goals against the Golden Knights tied the game and then handed Boston the lead. His tally against the Devils opened the scoring just 3:33 into play and went on to be the game-winner.
Overall, No. 63 has earned eight points in six games so far this season and seven of those points have come in the past four games. The Bruins would not have gone 3-1-0 this week if it weren’t for Marchand. Thus, he has earned the No. 2 star of the week.
1st Star: David Pastrnak
Nabbing six goals and four assists in four games is impressive, but scoring four of those goals in a single contest is downright spectacular.
That’s just what David Pastrnak did against the Ducks on Monday. He single-handedly lifted the Bruins over Anaheim en route to a 4-2 victory. It’s a performance that he and his supporters won’t soon forget.
Leading up to the four-goal game, Pastrnak potted a goal and two assists against Vegas. He went on to tally a goal and helper against Colorado before tacking on another helper versus the Devils.
No. 88 has remained consistent throughout his recent four-game point streak, providing a much-needed boost to his Bruins team. However, it is truly Pastrnak’s individual effort that led the Boston over Anaheim on Monday that stands out. On top of that, it looks as though this could be a career season for the winger.
Pastrnak now leads the Bruins with 10 points through six games and is my No. 1 star of the week.
I cover the Boston Bruins and NCAA Hockey here at The Hockey Writers. Born and raised 10 miles north of Boston, I developed a love for the game of ice hockey at a very young age. There’s really nothing better than this sport, though steak is a close second.