By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
As the number one seed in the entire league, the Bruins had a lot of eyes on them coming into the round-robin games. The Bs faced three excellent teams in the Flyers, Lightning and Capitals but were ultimately unable to pick up a win. With that being said, there were a lot of interesting takeaways from the three games. Here are four that stuck out to me.
Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle have been great
Every game the third line has looked really good. Whether it had Karson Kuhlman, Jake Debrusk or Nick Ritchie, it was one of the Bruins top lines every game. Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle have developed some really solid chemistry on the 3rd line. They are excellent in both the offensive and defensive zones and they really excel at the possession side of the game. The two have a 57.4 and 65.9 Corsi ratings respectively despite starting in the defensive zone more than half of the time in these playoffs. Their work down low hasn’t resulted in a goal quite yet, but the line has drawn multiple penalties which can be just as good if when the Bruins’ powerplay gets going. Early prediction? This line gets a goal tonight.
The puck-possession metrics for the Bjork-Coyle-Ritchie line look pretty good!— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) August 9, 2020
Boston with the edge in shot attempts (10-4), shots on goal (5-0) and high-danger chances (4-0) in their 7:31 of 5v5 TOI together.
But that all doesn't mean much if you can't bury chances like this: pic.twitter.com/BUEc6hsmS7
Jake Debrusk needs to be better
Yes, he had a really nice goal against the Capitals, but Debrusk has been pretty damn bad as of late. Before the aforementioned goal, Debrusk had one point (a goal) in 16 games dating back to February 8th. As a player who gets top six minutes and is on the top powerplay, that is unacceptable. Debrusk has been a playoff performer since his rookie season. In his first postseason series, the winger had five goals and two assists. He was a force all over the ice, scoring big goal after big goal. His second year in the playoffs was certainly a success as well, scoring 11 points in the Bruins Stanley Cup run. He looked better (not great, but better) with the speedy Ondrej Kase on his line so hopefully that’s all he needs to get the ball rolling.
Where is the 1st line?
Three games, zero goals. Patrice Bergeron is the sole member of the line with a point and the usual excellent play from the trio is nowhere to be seen. Pastrnak and Marchand have five and six turnovers respectively and the line has just been very bleh when they’re on the ice. The B’s first line is basically always on top of their game, especially in the playoffs. Over the past two postseasons, the trio has 43 goals in 36 games and is one of, if not the biggest reason for the Bruins’ success in the postseason. If the Bs want a chance at going far in the playoffs, this line NEEDS, with a capital NEEDS, to step it up.
The intensity was finally there
It took what, over seven periods of hockey for the Bruins to play like the Bruins? After two terrible games against the Blue Jackets and Flyers, the Bs started to come to life midway through their game against the Lightning. The physicality, the determination, the tenacity were all back. They looked like they finally cared, outplaying and outscoring the Lightning 2-1 within the final 30 minutes or so of the game.
Despite losing yet another game to Washington, the Bruins again looked way better than the team we saw in the first few games back. They were able to capitalize just once, a much needed goal by Jake Debrusk, but played a tight game from start to finish. With the recent quotes by Brad Marchand, I expect Game 1 tonight to be a good one. Go Bs.