The Boston Bruins enter the final stretch of October on a three-game winning streak after earning themselves six points last week. They are second in the Atlantic Division with an 8-1-2 record, just one point behind the leading Buffalo Sabres.
The week started with a rematch against the Toronto Maple Leafs, with scoring in all three periods. The Bruins finally received some secondary scoring as Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm got on the board, earning their second and first goals of the season, respectively. In total, eight Bruins contributed to the 4-2 victory.
After their victory against the Maple Leafs the team had an extended wait until their Stanley Cup Final rematch against the St. Louis Blues at home. In the most emotional game of the season, the Bruins played a full sixty minutes that showcased their physicality. It was as though we time traveled back to June and were reliving the postseason all over again. Despite being ‘just another game,’ the Bruins dominated offensively and earned a 3-0 victory.
The Bruins then headed to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers, and played their best second period of the season. They scored four in the second frame to earn a 4-1 lead, with goals from Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle. They scored three more goals in the final 20 minutes for a dominating 7-4 victory to end the week.
Here are the team’s three stars of the week:
3rd Star: Zdeno Chara
If it wasn’t for Zdeno Chara getting things started against the Blues just 38 seconds into the game, the momentum might have shifted in the opposite direction. In the second game of the Finals, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was injured after a shot to the head from Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist. The hit from Chara Saturday night is suspected to be in retaliation. Despite staying off of the scoresheet, he still managed three hits and three blocked shots.
The captain logged 63:58 of ice time through three games last week with one goal, one assist and a plus-seven rating. He also led the team with eight blocked shots to become the team’s third star.
Related Story: David Pastrnak’s Evolution From Prospect to Elite All-Star
2nd Star: David Pastrnak
Once again David Pastrnak had an outstanding week and continues to be on pace for a record-breaking season. He added another two goals and six assists against some pretty tough components. Overall, he has 11 goals, 12 assists and is a plus-eight through 11 games. In Sunday evening’s campaign against the Rangers, Pastrnak tallied five assists to help lead to the victory. It’s the 13th time a Bruins player has recorded at least five assists in a regular season game and he is only the third winger to do so.
Pastrnak has been on a tear since the puck dropped on opening night and doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. He told reporters earlier this season, “That’s what I’m getting paid for. Obviously it’s good for the confidence to get some goals. It’s been really good with my linemates and now we get the two points in the standings. It’s a new year we’ve started and I’m just trying to be better than I was last year. That’s my focus every year coming into the season is being a little better than the year before. That’s what I’m working on.”
1st Star: Brad Marchand
Pastrnak has stayed in the number one spot for the first couple weeks of the season, this week we’re handing over the first star honors to his linemate Brad Marchand. While both players put up eight points in three contests last week, Marchand earned the title with his plus-seven rating, to bring him to plus-11 overall, which is the best in the NHL. He scored a pair of goals and three assists against the Rangers, giving him a 10-game point streak that dates back to October 5.
He also showed a side of him that isn’t seen as often, a selfless side. He is known for his instigating tactics that rile up his opponents and put him in the penalty box. However, in the final minutes of Sunday’s contest, Pastrnak generated an odd-man rush as Marchand and Bergeron headed towards the empty net. When Marchand received the puck from Pastrnak, rather than take the shot to earn the hat trick, he passed the puck over to Bergeron for their seventh marker of the night and Bergeron’s third.
His efforts throughout the last week, not only landed him as The Hockey Writers’ first star, but as the NHL’s first star of the week as well.
The Bruins will be back in action on Tuesday night to host the San Jose Sharks. Will Marchand be able to extend his point streak to 11 games?