Another week is down in the 2021-22 regular season for the Boston Bruins and it was an interesting one. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, David Pastrnak climbs up a franchise chart, the Black and Gold show some character, they avoid major injuries, Boston will get an up-close look at two possible trade targets on their upcoming road trip, and more.
Pastrnak Keeps Streak Alive
With his second period goal in the Bruins’ 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Monday night at the TD Garden, Pastrnak scored his 20th goal of the season. It marked the sixth consecutive season that the 2019-20 Rocket Ricard Award co-winner with Alex Ovechkin has scored at least 20 goals in a season.
Bruins Show Character in Bounce Back Win vs. Capitals
Following their 7-1 loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 18, the Bruins had little time to regroup with a home game two nights later against the Washington Capitals. Ten days after the Black and Gold rolled to a 7-3 win over the Capitals on the road, Boston showed a lot of character by rallying for a 4-3 bounce-back win.
After giving up the game’s first goal just over four minutes into the game, the Bruins responded with a Pastrnak goal 50 seconds later. The two teams would exchange goals, before Charlie McAvoy buried the game-winning goal with 45 seconds left in the game on the power play for the victory off a pass from Jake DeBrusk.
What made the victory more impressive was the Bruins finished the game with just 10 forwards for the final 20 minutes after Anton Blidh took a clean, heavy hit from Tom Wilson and Brad Marchand exited with an upper-body injury following a hit into the boards by Washington’s Garnet Hathaway.
“I thought we were ready to play. Much more prepared than Tuesday night,” said Cassidy. “Not surprised by the group being ready to go. I thought we had a good, efficient working practice [on Wednesday]. I talked about what we need to do. I thought we’ve played Washington well the past few years, so should be some confidence in the room to be able to do that.
Earlier in the season, there is a good chance that the loss to the Hurricanes would have snow-balled into consecutive losses, but the Bruins are a different team since the New Year and showed a lot of character bouncing back 48 hours later from their loss to the Hurricanes.
Forbort Helps Beat Former Team
On the first day of free agency last July, the Bruins signed a flurry of veterans, including Derek Forobrt. In the 56-game shortened 2020-21 regular season, the left-shot defensemen played for the Winnipeg Jets. Saturday, the former Jet played a part in the Black and Gold’s 3-2 win.
Forbort picked up an assist when Charlie Coyle redirected his shot from the point past Connor Hellebuyck to tie the game 2-2. It was Forbort’s effort in the Bruins’ defensive zone that turned out to be key. He finished the game with four blocked shots, including a key one in the final seconds with Boston facing a 6-on-4 for the final 1:27 of the game. He had three shots on the net and played 16:52, with 3:29 of that coming shorthanded.
It was not the best start to the season for Forbort, but he has improved as the season has gone along, he already has a career-high in goals with four, and with Brandon Carlo, is a key piece to the Bruins penalty-killing unit.
Bruins Head West to Face Possible Trade Targets
Following their just-completed seven-game homestand, the Bruins now embark on a three-game road trip against three Western Conference opponents. It is also a trip that could be a showcase for two possible trade targets that Boston should be very interested in as the 2022 Trade Deadline inches closer.
Boston has stops against the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes, and Dallas Stars. The second stop against the Coyotes will feature heavily sought-after left-shot defensemen Jakob Chychrun. The 23-year-old was the 16th overall pick by Arizona in the 2016 Entry Draft and acquiring him would require a large package going back.
The final stop against the Stars is a rematch of the Bruins season-opening 3-1 win. Dallas defenseman John Klingberg has requested a trade and despite being a right-shot, would be a nice addition for Sweeney to get. He could play in most situations and would be a nice backup defenseman on the power play behind McAvoy. Klingberg is in the final year of his contract, so the return would not be as high as it will be for Chychrun.
Assuming neither player is traded before the games, it is an up-close look at two trade targets for Boston, while DeBrusk will be on display for two potential trade partners as any deal would most likely start around him.
The Week Ahead
- Wednesday: at Colorado Avalanche, 10 p.m.
- Friday: at Arizona Coyotes, 9 p.m.
- Sunday: at Dallas Stars, 7 p.m.
- Tuesday: vs. Seattle Kraken, 7 p.m.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.