Bruins makes powerful statement with victory over NHL’s leading avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins haven’t enjoyed tremendous success against playoff teams this season, but they had no trouble dominating the Colorado Avalanche side on Monday afternoon who entered TD Garden with the best NHL record.

The performance was close to a full 60-minute effort as we’ve seen from the Bruins all season – and all without their leading scorer in suspended striker Brad Marchand. It also made a strong statement to the rest of the league that the B’s are capable of defeating anyone, even elite teams like Avalanche, when they shoot with all they can.

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Boston led 1-0 in the first half with a David Pasternak goal, then opened the game with three goals in the second half before securing an eventual 5-1 victory.

Among the encouraging signs for the Bruins were a blue streak providing much-needed scoring depth, playing power out of the slack, Jake DeBrusk finishing an eight-game drought and Taylor Hall continuing to thrive as a playmaker with three assists. After two goals against Colorado, Pasternak has lit the lamp 19 times in his last 22 games.

“I think it was the best match of the year,” Pasternak said. “We’re talking about full matches, 60 minutes. We’re staying at the moment. We were really active, and it was a great win for us. It was two big points.”

The Bruins also had a 21-16 advantage in scoring chances, 13-4 in high-risk opportunities and outperformed Avs 4-0 through 5-on-5. Those are impressive margins against the avalanche team who on Monday ranked among the top five of both goals – by percentage and chances of scoring – by percentage at 5 out of 5.

This heatmap shows how many good scoring opportunities Bruins have created in front of the grid (via Natural Stat Trick):

There is no doubt that this victory has been the most impressive Bruins have achieved this season. Avalanche is a gorgeous squad full of stars all over the ice.

Bruins Cassidy, the Bruins coach, was very pleased with what he saw from his team, but also noted that it was very important for his teammates to build on this performance and continue to accumulate positive results on a consistent basis.

“He can definitely pay us,” Cassidy said. “I wouldn’t take advantage – other than it was a really good hockey game for us. Our best players outperformed our best players.” “The goalkeeper was strong. I think our D team played in the match. We played as a group of five.

“You know the videos that I got in the trash (after a bad game)? This is one of the ones that you keep. There are a lot of clips that will look back a month from now and say, ‘Hey, this is the time all five guys took part in the scan’ Front, attackers were coming for D, etc. There are going to be some really good teaching moments at this moment, and it also resulted in some goals and a great win. But I prefer looking at a period of time (versus one match). “

This victory over the Avs is, in a sense, no big surprise. The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the league since January 1 with a 15-7-2 record during that time. Boston has played its best hockey game this season since the calendar flipped to 2022.

Since January 1 Bruins NHL Ranking
Wins 15th T-2nd
Objectives 50 the fourth
shot attempts% 53.07 seventh
shots on net% 55.55 the third
Scoring chances 555 the first
high-risk opportunities 217 T-3rd

We now have a sample of 24 games – over a quarter of the season – that shows the Bruins can still be a legitimate contender. This race also includes victories over playoff teams such as the Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I think it was the best match of the year. We’re talking about full matches, 60 minutes. We stayed in for now. We were really active, and it was a great win for us. It was two big points.”

David Pasternak on hitting Colorado

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Bruins. They’re about to embark on a six-game road trip – their longest ride of the season – which features a host of matches against good opponents, including the Vegas Golden Knights.

Monday’s performance gave the Bruins a blueprint on how they needed to play to break out of this upcoming stretch in the West with several wins and plenty of impetus to enter the final stages of the regular season.

“We were on the road for a while, then went back to our building to play just one game. We wanted to protect our building, get the two points, knowing we had a tough road trip going west,” Pasternak said. “Hopefully we can build this game and get a better road trip than the previous one.”