Bruins’ 3 Up, 3 Down: Pastrnak, DeBrusk, Orlov, & More

Welcome to the latest edition of the Boston Bruins’ 3 Up, 3 Down for the 2022-23 season. This will be a weekly column released on Mondays chronicling the highs and lows of the previous seven days.

Just when you think things couldn’t get any better in the 2022-23 season for the Boston Bruins, think again. Last week, the Black and Gold won all four games, extended their winning streak to seven games, and did it against one of the top Eastern Conference contenders on the road without three of their top players. All of that was done while one of their stars reached a milestone that was only a matter of time before it was reached.

Boston Bruins 3 Up, 3 Down
Boston Bruins 3 Up, 3 Down (The Hockey Writers)

With all of that said, let’s fire up the latest edition of the Bruins’ 3 Up, 3 Down as the regular season enters the final two-plus weeks before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.

Plus One: David Pastrnak Scores 50th Goal

The beat went on for Boston’s leading scorer David Pastrnak last week. Against the Montreal Canadiens in a 4-2 win on March 23, the newly-signed right wing set a career-high for goals with his 49th in the second period. Then against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 26, he scored his 50th of the season in a first-period breakaway in the 4-3 shootout victory. In the second period, he added his 51st on the power play.

David Pastrnak Boston Bruins 2023 Winter Classic
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins 2023 Winter Classic (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In 73 games this season, the 2019-20 co-winner of the Maurice Rocket Richard Award with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals with 48 goals, has a career-high 46 assists, and is three points shy of the first 100-point season of his career.

Minus One: A.J. Greer

Talk about not having a good look. During the first period of the Bruins’ win over the Canadiens, A.J. Greer was assessed a five-minute major for cross-checking Montreal’s Mike Hoffman. During a faceoff at center ice, the two exchanged cross-checks, but Greer’s went right into the face of Hoffman. 

The Canadiens scored one goal on the five-minute man advantage and on March 24, Greer had a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety and received a one-game suspension for his actions. He returned to the lineup against the Hurricanes when Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand missed the game.

Plus Two: Orlov, Hathaway & Bertuzzi Have Big Week

It was quite the week for the Bruins’ three trade deadline additions. Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway, and Tyler Bertuzzi all had a hand in three wins in different ways.

Tyler Bertuzzi Boston Bruins
Tyler Bertuzzi, Boston Bruins (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bertuzzi scored his first goal as a Bruin against the Canadiens and also registered an assist. Hathaway scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning when he buried a rebound of a Matt Grzelcyk shot. Both Bertuzzi and Hathaway were key members of the Bruins’ bottom six against the Lightning that turned the tide when the game was at even strength.

Orlov did not register a point, but it was the effort against Tampa Bay that proved to be big. In 23:42 in time on ice, he delivered six hits, had three shots, and played 4:52 on the penalty kill. The Bruins needed him in all situations and he responded. All three have been valuable additions to the league’s best team record-wise.

Minus Two: Power Play Struggles

Not only is the power play continuing its struggles, but now they allowed another shorthanded goal. Against Tampa Bay, the Bruins had five power plays in the first 12 minutes of the game, but after the dust settled, the game was tied 1-1. Bergeron scored on the power play, then one penalty later, Victor Hedman tied the game when he beat Linus Ullmark with a shot that deflected off of Charlie McAvoy’s stick.

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The power play struggles are most glaring when the opposing team clears the puck the first time. Offensive zone entries are anything but clean for the Bruins, they are more often than not making extra passes and neither unit is playing with any confidence whatsoever. Against Carolina and with a depleted lineup, Pastrnak did score a man-advantage goal.

Plus Three: Jake DeBrusk’s March to a Career Season

One of the hottest Bruins right now is Jake DeBrusk. Last week, he had a goal against the Ottawa Senators and one against the Canadiens to run his scoring streak to four games, before it snapped against the Lightning. He has 24 goals, four shy of setting a new career-high and he has 22 assists, six short of a new career-high. He already has a career-high in points with 46. He scored the game-winning goal against the Hurricanes in the shootout to help Boston secure the second point.

Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It’s been over a year since the 14th overall pick in the 2015 Entry Draft has been moved to the first line with Bergeron and Marchand and the trio has formed one nice connection when they are all healthy and is a big reason why DeBrusk is within striking distance of a career season in all three categories.

Minus Three: Mike Reilly’s Injury in Providence

Since November, Mike Reilly has been down in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins, waiting for his opportunity to get back in Boston. He has been playing well for the P-Bruins and on March 26, he suffered what was an ugly-looking injury when he went hard into the boards behind the net and laid unconscious behind the net. Following the game, Providence had an update that he was alert and in stable condition, which is great news for someone who has taken the demotion to the minors like a pro.

With nine games remaining in the regular season, the Bruins are well ahead of the rest of the NHL with 117 points. They continued to stay hot as the playoffs creep closer, winning all four games in the last seven days, thanks to some much-needed performances, while their power play continues to be a concern. There’s still some time to correct things before the postseason begins.

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