Melrose native Conor Sherri received a pair of Christmas presents from the Greeley Tribune Bruins after converting a couple of turnovers to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead in the first round. But it didn’t take long for the Bruins to respond with a bloody good.
Brad Marchand set the tone after a nasty high-sticking incident after Nick Dowd was bleeding nose. The veteran winger scored a goal and an assist on 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 powerplays late in the opening verse to set things up even after 20 minutes.
Smelling blood from the locker room, Matt Grzelic, as part of the best statistical night of his career, led his team in the second season of the season in just 2:51 mid-verse. Craig Smith’s one-timer on Curtis Lazar’s feed ended Zack Fukle’s night after about five minutes. The Bruins scored two goals together with Marchand and David Pasternak, and Erik Houla finished their third of the season in a 7–3 loss at the Capital One Arena.
Here’s what we learned from Monday’s blast in the nation’s capital.
Grzelcyk turns a career into a night
Any athlete will need to establish a short memory at some point in a given season. Brandon Carlow and Linus Ullmark confronted that vision, following a miscommunication near the Greeley Tribune Nets at 3:02 p.m. Sheree’s first night. Similarly, Grezel carried Bergeron straight into second to Sherri after a wrong feed towards the left face-off dot. exactly after 9:30 at night
“I saw Burgie low. We were struggling to get the puck out. So I kind of wanted to make a quick play and Burgie was yelling at me for trying to get to the rim,” Grzelczyk said. “He was expecting it, and I listened to it too late and saw them right one on the guy’s tape. So obviously not ideal to go down 2-0.”
Grzelczyk’s companions immediately came to his aid. He pulled off his mischief and turned it into a career night.
“I just wanted to get back on the ice as soon as possible,” Grzelczyk said. “It was an uncomfortable skate to be back on the bench when you made a big mistake there and hurt the team. But we have a lot of flexibility in the room. People were telling me to keep my head up. I knew I had to play with confidence to get back in the game. We did a great job getting back up and capitalizing on some power plays to tie it up at the end of the first, and the ball got rolling from there.
The Charlestown-born defense began his fiery performance after the late 40s in the early 20s with two power-play assists on Pasternak’s 5-on-3 one-timer and Marchand’s 5-on-4 equalizer.
At the start of the second period Brins went ahead for good on Grzelczyk’s wrist shot. A further pair of secondarys finished Grzelczyk’s career-high five-point night at the marker of Houla at 13:09 and Marchand’s second goal at 10:59 of the evening.
Grzelcyk, who entered Monday with just eight points to his credit (one goal, seven assists), not only made personal history: He also became the first Bruins defenseman to record a five-point night since legendary Ray Bourke. achieved that feat. Caps on 2 January 1994.
“As it’s happening, you just shake your head,” said Grezelik after becoming the fifth Greeley Tribune blue-liner in franchise history to record five points in a game. “I was laughing during the game. I felt good about my game for most of the year, and it has been hard to get points.”
Points Grzelcyk got on this night. And of course, he wasn’t the only Shining Bruin this night.
Marchand’s leadership ‘bleeds’ the Bruins’ locker room
Marchand lived up to his nose-face killer nickname, figuratively and literally, on Monday.
The Bruins slowly found their way after a pair of expensive first-period turnovers. But it took Marchand a blood-stained high-viscous barrier from Dowd to open a momentous opportunity.
Dowd’s starting 5-on-3 position was reduced to zero in the first half of the double-minor when Bergeron intervened against Lars Aller with a blue-line at the zone entry. But he found himself with another two-man advantage after a cross-check on John Carlson’s houla.
Still feeling the effects of his broken nose, Marchand took Brins to the track in the span of 40 seconds with the aid of his equalizer on Pasternak’s one-timer and a sleek wrist shot.
Led by their primary alternate captain, the Bruins never looked back.
“We know what he’s about. We’ve seen in his competition level in practice, sports, alternate skate, morning skate… you name it. He’s a competitive guy when he puts on skates,” Cassidy said. Said about Marchand. “I think it discourages the other team a little bit. Their line had worked well on them before – that dowd line. But we kept coming, and we managed to get a 5-on-3 goal. Me Looks like it calmed us down and got us back in the game, and then the march goal got off the stick. So good for us to stick with the plan. It got us back in the game and after that we were quite good.
Marchand became one of six Bruins who matched multi-point performances in the first Bruins-Caps matchup of the season. That particular group of six includes a new dynamic duo.
Hall-Pastrank Connection Provides Another Layer to Greeley Tribune’s Crime
Keeping an eye on his former team, David Krejci has made headlines over the past few days with some notable comments on Cassidy moving Pasternak to the second line. Revisionist history provides an argument for placing Pasternak with Bergeron and Marchand and carrying on with Craziness in an effort to balance Greeley Tribune’s scoring depth.
At this rate, it doesn’t matter who centers Hall and Pasternak.
Cassidy pulled the trigger after talented wingers developed early chemistry on Greeley Tribune’s top-line during Marchand’s three-game suspension. The Bruins now have a formidable top-six with Smith again finding his scoring touch with Marchand and Bergeron and producing a timely offense with Hall and Pasternak.
With a rise in confidence, Hall extended his points streak to six straight games with a pair of assists. Meanwhile, Pasternak has scored five goals in his last three games after failing to register a single tally in December.
“Pasta and I have a tendency to cross or turn down shots,” Hall said. “But tonight, Puck seemed to be on the net at the right time.”
Certainly, Bruins can use blue-line and top-six upgrades between now and the trading deadline. For now, they’ve got a nice offensive formula with the trickle-down effect of Cassidy’s lineup changes, highlighted by the reunion of Hall and Pasternak.
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