Bergeron units the tone for Bruins


Patrice Bergeron knew precisely what the Bruins have been up towards to start the season. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk have been all beginning the season on the shelf.

However whereas the challenges have been clear, the Bruins’ captain framed the scenario extra as a chance, one for another gamers to step into the void and make a mark that they may not have been anticipated to make if the crew was at full power. It’s what everybody says every time a big harm happens, however there gave the impression to be extra gravity to Bergeron’s phrases this time.

And as was evidenced by the crew’s uncommon celebration of Bergeron’s 1,000th profession level in a 5-3 win in Tampa on Tuesday, this crew follows the place its captain leads. The Bruins received off to the most well liked begin in crew historical past not a lot regardless of these points as due to them.

Due to the tone Bergeron set, the Bruins entered the month of October with an unusual focus that not solely helped them overcome the absence of their first-line left wing and two top-four defensemen however noticed them via the rising pains of some pretty important system tweaks. When these gamers returned sooner than anticipated, it solely added to the historic begin for the Bruins, who had their seven-game profitable streak finish on Wednesday in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

A powerful tradition had already been in place, however you’d be hard-pressed to seek out any actual passengers within the Bruins’ 17-3 begin. This group has coalesced as a crew, in each sense of the phrase. Inside such teams, you’ll inevitably discover some particular person performances which can be eye-popping. They could not essentially be over-achievements, however you simply didn’t see them coming.

Listed below are 5 of them:

• Linus Ullmark. We anticipated that some mixture of Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman would give the Bruins ok goaltending to win greater than they misplaced and ultimately make it into the playoffs. We didn’t see Ullmark grabbing the reins and turning into an old style, workhorse No. 1 goalie. A part of that was because of the harm that stored Swayman out for 3 weeks, however most of it may be attributed to Ullmark’s efficiency. Ullmark hasn’t essentially stolen video games, however he has undoubtedly stolen durations.

• Nick Foligno. Elevate your hand when you thought this revered veteran was all finished. Responsible as charged right here. He got here into coaching camp with the identical constructive perspective that you’d count on from him and he vowed that this season was going to be completely different for him after a wholesome summer time that allowed him to coach how he wished. Then got here the preseason and he seemed loads like the identical participant from a 12 months in the past – loads of hustle and grit and nothing to point out for it. He was even waived in the beginning of the season, although administration certainly didn’t count on to lose him together with his $3.8 million price ticket. There ought to be just a few groups kicking themselves now. Foligno has performed a pivotal position, making the fourth line an impression unit whereas additionally contributing together with his web entrance presence on the second power-play unit.

• Jake DeBrusk. The traditional knowledge on DeBrusk’s recreation stated that if he’s not scoring objectives, he’s not doing a lot to assist the crew. That has been removed from the reality this 12 months. He’s fourth on the crew in scoring however that doesn’t inform the story of the impression he’s had. He’s studying to make use of his lengthy attain on puck retrievals and battles and his legs are virtually at all times churning. It could be simple to chalk all of it as much as the teaching change, however one thing clicked in DeBrusk in the midst of final season when a commerce request grew to become public. With the route of his profession on the road, he weeded out many of the inconsistency in his recreation. Now it seems to be like GM Don Sweeney’s refusal to take pennies on the greenback in a commerce for the winger might need been one in every of his finest choices in constructing this crew.

• Connor Clifton. It ought to have come as no shock that when a problem was issued, Clifton took a step ahead. It’s a part of the New Jersey native’s DNA. However few noticed Clifton able to taking the large step ahead that he did. With McAvoy on the sideline, Clifton grew to become a reputable high 4 defenseman and helped Hampus Lindholm enter the Norris Trophy dialog. He’s averaging just below 21 minues a recreation, virtually 4 minutes greater than his profession common.

• Coach Jim Montgomery. With their first teaching change, GM Don Sweeney and crew president Cam Neely waited too lengthy to finish Claude Julien’s nice run behind the bench. After they whacked Bruce Cassidy final summer time, it felt like they pulled the set off too quickly. Now it seems to be like they could have gotten this one good. Cassidy is a wonderful coach and he’s proving it once more in Vegas. However generally a crew simply wants a brand new messenger. Montgomery has not solely supplied a distinct voice, however the message itself has been modified. His aggressive attacking system has been a boon for offensive-minded defensemen like Hampus Lindholm and McAvoy and it has has turned the Bruins into an offensive juggernaut.


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