On the heels of another dominant performance, it might be safe to put the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup hangover stories to bed. The defending champions are on a three-game winning streak in which they crushed their opponents 18-5.
There are reasons to believe that the fun is just beginning, too, as tonight’s 6-2 romp against the New York Islanders began a five-game homestand. Let’s take a quick look at the many promising signs.
Quick starts: Versus provides an interesting look at how the Bruins have been scoring in lightning-fast two-goal bunches during their three-game streak:
Two goals in 37 seconds (vs. Ottawa).
Two goals in eight seconds, two goals in 14 seconds and two goals in 28 seconds (vs. Toronto).
Two goals in 29 seconds and two goals in 49 seconds (vs. the Islanders).
In total, that’s 12 goals in less than three minutes. Bruins fans would be well-advised to wait until intermission periods to get up from their seats during this homestand.
Both goalies are getting in on the act: Tim Thomas earned a shutout against the Maple Leafs while Tuukka Rask finally earned a win tonight. That’s a great sign for easily one of the best goalie duos in the NHL.
Everyone’s scoring: For a while, it seemed like the Bruins would need to rely upon Tyler Seguin’s Stamkos-like sophomore surge for offense this season. He’s still red-hot (Seguin scored his eighth goal of 2011-12), but the Bruins must be pleased with three-point nights from struggling top-liners Nathan Horton and David Krejci. (Milan Lucic is playing well again, too, with two points in his own right.)
Much like their slow start, this three-game surge can be attributed to “fun with small samples.” That being said, the Bruins can climb their way back into the Northeast Division title mix if they cash in on this five-game span of home cooking.
Update: here are some highlights of their 6-2 win.
Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.
Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.
After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.
As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.
St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.
The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.
Marleau is the 18th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 game mark. Should he stay healthy and play the entire 82-game slate or close to that, he’ll enter the 2018-19 season 11th all-time in that category. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 games played.
Health has helped the 38-year-old Marleau reach the mark in his 20th NHL season. He hasn’t missed a regular game since the 2008-09 season and hasn’t played fewer than 74 games in a full season in his entire career.
Marleau has gone from being the youngest player in the league to the sixth-oldest in the span of 20 years and considering his history of good health, better fitness regiments of players and treatment by training staffs, challenging Howe may not be a crazy idea.
Of course, that is unless Jaromir Jagr sticks around. If that happens then Marleau would likely have to settle for No. 2.
This week’s edition of NBCSN’s Rivalry Night will feature a central division clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.
It’s still early days, but the two sides are battling atop the Central, with the Blackhawks powered by great starts from a number of players including Brandon Saad and Ryan Hartman. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking to halt a two-game skid after winning their first four games of the season. The game also features the return of NHL on NBC analyst Ed Olczyk to the booth.
You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.