Hard times may be an exaggerated turn of phrase in describing the first half of this calendar week for the Boston Bruins.
They had garnered one out of four possible points in back-to-back 4-3 falters against Montreal and Washington on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. Although not the most unseemly scenario conceivable, they spoiled leads in the third period both nights, a trend that will make any two-game winless skid feel more jagged and inflated.
Regardless, the Bruins needed to rake in a batch of hard-earned redemption Thursday night, which they did by warding off the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. They withstood early threats, early penalty trouble and virtually nonstop aggression from a divisional rival that has now failed to take a two-point package from them in any of their last eight meetings.
Multiple motifs of this matchup as well as Boston’s 2012-13 campaign in general were on the most prominent display Thursday and three of them are assessed as follows.