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RECAP: Bruins complete perfect homestand, beat Blackhawks 7-4

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NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

If you blinked for a particularly long amount of time at any point this Saturday afternoon, you might’ve missed a turning point in the Bruins’ 7-4 win over the Blackhawks.

Dangerous two-goal leads? Obviously.

Three goals in 46 seconds? Check.

David Krejci -- and, uh, Boston Bruin Brian Gionta — ruining lives on the Bruins Power Play Version 2.0? Why not.

Jake DeBrusk, who is extremely still a Boston Bruin, making plays and reminding us that keeping him was yet another win in the GTDOAT (greatest trade deadline of all-time, duh)? Cue the DeBrusk boats.

Excuse me if I seem a little fired up, it’s just that the Bruins have now officially completed a perfect 6-0-0 homestand without Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, and David Backes.

The Good

  • Again, the Bruins just completed a 6-0-0 homestand without two players their defensive identity revolves around and the ever-reliable Backes. Is that good?
  • Gionta has six points in five games. It’s like he got the perfect opportunity to come in and immediately prove people wrong with the injury bug and the Department of Player Safety bug striking all at once. I was on our friend Broad Street Hockey’s radio show before Thursday’s game with the flyers, and all they could make of the situation was “Brian Gionta, huh?”

    Brian Gionta, indeed.
  • In a season where the B’s top line has been getting attention as possibly the best in the league at times, depth players keep proving they deserve credit as well. When the fourth line does its job -- mostly the dirty work -- it generally goes unnoticed. It had a rare rough game against the Flyers, so the response Saturday, including a Noel Acciari shorthanded goal, was encouraging.

“I thought they did not have a good game against Philadelphia. Very atypical of what they do in terms of puck protection, being hard on it, hard to play against,” Cassidy said. “They could do that for a week straight and not get rewarded offensively, or 10 games straight, whatever, and still be a really good line for our team. When they’re not doing that, that’s problematic. Tonight, they happened to get the goals; it was a shorty and an empty netter...they did their job, winning pucks, being hard to play against, play down below the circle, drawing penalties, aggravating the other team, all those things. That’s the line we’re used to seeing when we got on that run, and I think they’re a big part of this team.”

  • It seems like every time Cassidy publicly addresses an area he’d like his team to improve in, improvement happens. As of late, that’s the power play. Aside from the fact that FOUR of Boston’s goals came on the power play (4-of-6), it seems they’ve remembered where those goals start: forced turnovers and simple puck control. DeBrusk’s forced turnover on Krejci’s first (because of course there was more than one) power play goal, then his play making on the second showcased the combination of hustle and skill in his game. You get the feeling he’s nowhere near his ceiling, either. The ceiling is the roof, you Good Edmonton Boy, you.

“Those are the passes you dream of,” Krejci had high praise for his wingman. “Those are fun.”

  • We need to talk about power play Krejci. His six-game point drought back in February was alarming at the time, but along with it came speculation that he’d be fine if he had someone bigger than Ryan Spooner on his wing. Then My Beautiful Dark Twisted Trade Deadline brought Rick Nash. Krejci’s hat trick against the Penguins featured two power play goals and he racked up another two tonight. This at least somewhat reminds us why the Bruins pay him so much: his veteran knack for providing whatever it is his team might need in any particular stretch.

The Bad

  • When you hear “Brad Marchand is at it again,” do you think of 11 overtime goals, three consecutive game-winners, or hits that (warranted or not) cause league-wide controversy every time?

Well, this afternoon’s was the latter, and intentional or not you bet the league is going to look into this collision that took Anthony Duclair out of the game.

“I expect they will [look at the hit] because it’s Brad,” Cassidy said postgame, “but when I looked at the replay, it looked like two guys just turning, trying to get th ehell out of the way from each other. But it doesn’t matter, right?”


Because of Marchand’s history and Twitter takes so hot I had to restart my phone from overheating, there’s a chance he could get suspended again. You already know the long list of key Bruins players currently out, so obviously that’s not even remotely ideal right now.

Interestingly enough, Marchand doesn’t expect a call from Player Safety.

“That’s obviously up to them, but I don’t think so,” he said. “We were trying to avoid each other.”

Marchand could walk into the locker room with a boom box blasting It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy after his hits at this point and it wouldn’t make a difference. We’ll just have to wait and see with this one.

  • Allowing tons of goals isn’t good, but is it necessarily awful? Cassidy doesn’t think so.

“We always go back and look at the scoring chances,” he said. “If they’re reasonable, sometimes the puck has eyes, your goalie doesn’t make the save. If you’re giving up...much more than we’d like then it becomes a concern...our guys feel like they can win those games, so it’s hard to go into the room and say, ‘we can’t play that way; we’ve got no chance of winning.’ We just went 8-4, 6-5, and now 7-4...I can't honestly look them in the eyes and say we can’t win these games.”

  • Leaving the slot open was today’s glaring issue, but just like Cassidy, it’s hard for me to look my keyboard in the eyes and be too critical of a 7-4 win without Bergeron, McAvoy, and Backes.