After what has felt like an entire century, the Bruins have played hockey. Crazy, I know. And it seems as though the Bruins have started this new year off very well. Again, crazy, I know.
Starting 2022 With A Bit Of A Bang
After over 2 weeks of not playing a single NHL game, the Bruins were expected to come out pretty flat. Which if you watched the Bruins in 2021, that would not be surprising. The Bruins were having the same issues they’ve always had, and I was complaining about the same things over and over again. But it looks as though the Bruins made a New Years Resolution to fix their biggest issues. Which if you’ve powered through my moaning you would know that it was their secondary scoring.
One noticeable way the Bruins went about making this change happen was by changing up their first two lines. The “perfection line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak was broken up, with Pastrnak being bumped down to the second line and Craig Smith being bumped up to the first. With Pastrnak having a scoring slump, this could be the wake up call he needs. Plus, Pastrnak will still be playing with Taylor Hall, so it’s not like he is being damned to play with “worse players.” If anything, this move should help both Hall and Pasta who are both having scoring issues. And to note one more change, Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula swapped lines as well.
Right away, it seems as though these moves have worked out very well. The Bruins have played 3 games so far this new year, and have won them all. In each game, they’ve been able to run up the score. In those 3 games, Boston has scored 14 goals. And most importantly, most of them have come from lines other than the top line. Of those 14 goals, the original perfection line has scored only 2 of them, and that’s not because they are all slumping. Hopefully, this is a resolution that actually lasts.
With the way the Bruins have played in their last 3 games, Bruins fans might just blow over from excitement from this possibility. Well, depending on who you are I guess. Tuukka Rask is all but expected to make his 2022 debut for Boston by the end of January or early February. There has not been a contract made yet, but all signs pretty much point to one coming very soon.
Tuukka is one of those classic polarizing athletes in Boston sports. If you are a Boston sports fan, you know exactly what I am talking about. He is an athlete who has given blood, sweat, and tears for Boston and is statistically one of the best to play in the city. But due to the position he plays, he often gets a lot of the flak for a loss. So as a result, some fans (like me) adore him while others almost outright despise him.
With Tuukka probably coming back, I believe that this will be a huge boost for Boston. Despite him being polarizing in the fanbase, the team itself loves him. Plus Tuukka isn’t bad at all. I mean according to Hockey-Reference, Tuukka Rask has the 3rd best save percentage, EVER. Him being back would then put less pressure on Linus Ullmark and allow for Jeremy Swayman to not rush his development. I do not understand how some people could see this as a bad thing.
Hi, I’m RJ Oakley and I’m the Bruins beat writer here at Belly Up Sports. Check back here and follow me on Twitter for news and discussion on the B’s. Be sure to follow Belly Up Hockey as well for all your NHL needs!