Blythe Hastings ’23
To say the Boston Bruins just completed a successful road trip would be an understatement. Starting with a 3-2 overtime win against the Seattle Kraken on February 24 and ending with a 5-4 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 5, the Bruins would ultimately go 5-1-0 over the course of the trip. In between those two wins, the Bruins would come away with big victories against the San Jose Sharks (3-1), Los Angeles Kings (7-0) and Vegas Golden Knights (5-2).
Even the lone loss only came after the Bruins allowed a goal with just over 20 seconds remaining in regulation against the Anaheim Ducks. Well within range of winning that game against the Ducks and going 6-0-0, the Bruins, in general, should be very happy with what they’ve accomplished since their last game at home. The Bruins will return to action just two days after the conclusion of this trip on Monday, March 7, in a rematch against the Kings for their first home game since February 21. They should be greeted by the regular raucous crowd at TD Garden amid the run they’re currently on.
The start of the 2021-22 season was mediocre at best. The Bruins were dealing with an inconsistent schedule and, as a result, simply couldn’t find a groove upon which to build any chemistry or sustained success. Combine that with a multitude of new players and a hole at starting goaltender and at second-line center, things just weren’t falling in the Bruins’ favor for the last decade. Fast-forward to March of 2022, however, and the Bruins have seemingly put all of the pieces together despite so many holes still existing in their lineup. The need for a true No. 2 center, a top-six right-winger who can replace Jake DeBrusk in that spot due to the young winger’s continued desire to be traded, and another top-four defender aren’t easy issues to overcome.
Some notable players who stepped up in a huge way during this trip include Jeremy Swayman (4-0-0 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average with one shutout), Jake DeBrusk (six goals and eight points in six games with one hat trick), Craig Smith (four goals and seven points in six games with one hat trick), and Erik Haula (three goals and eight points in six games). Players and fans are riding a high from the win streak, one that they hope continues.