(Photo Credit: Steven Senne / AP Photo)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Justin Brazeau hasn’t missed a beat for the Boston Bruins. After being sidelined with an injury suffered in an April contest against the Nashville Predators, the promising power forward was held out of action for nearly a month. But after returning with the Black and Gold in Game Five of the team’s opening-round bout with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brazeau quickly reminded the Bruins faithful what he was all about.

Not only did the 6’5″ forward pick up an assist on Hampus Lindholm’s game-tying tally in Game Seven on Saturday, but he scored a goal of his own in Monday’s Game One thumping of the Florida Panthers. Not bad for the undrafted free agent.

“I think it’s just getting my feet wet in the playoffs, obviously it’s my first couple of games,” Brazeau told reporters after Monday’s win. “I liked the way I came out in Game Seven, and I wanted to carry that over to tonight.”

Brazeau lit the lamp in the third period to seal the deal for the Bruins, collecting a chip off the boards from James van Riemsdyk before racing toward Sergei Bobrovsky with a burst of speed. Brazeau pulled the puck across his body to his backhand, slipping it past the Flordia netminder for the highlight-worthy score.

The 220-pound winger has also impressed alongside linemates van Riemsdyk and Trent Frederic in what has been a sandpaper third line for the Bruins in the playoffs.

“I think we can be really good,” Brazeau said. “We play a similar type of game. we try to keep it simple, I don’t think we try to overcomplicate anything. We just focus on doing a good job on the forecheck and really supporting each other.”

While Brazeau never counted out his abilities to rise to the National Hockey League ranks, he acknowledged his path to playoff hockey was uncommon. He played four seasons in the OHL for the North Bay Battalion, racking up 128-110-238 in 268 games while sporting a letter in his final season. After bouncing between the ECHL and AHL for another four seasons, he finally received his shot last summer. He suited up for 49 games in Providence before being called to Boston to reinforce a roster needing some physical play.

“I always had the belief that I could be here and do this type of stuff,” said Brazeau. “I wouldn’t say I had no belief in it, but obviously, it was a bit of a far-fetch just coming into the year just on an AHL deal.”

Well, here he is, occupying a crucial role for the B’s as they attempt to upset the Panthers in the second round. If he can keep using his body to disrupt plays in the corners and drive pucks to the net, I think it’s safe to say his run this postseason won’t be his swan song in a Bruins uniform.