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Boston Bruins' Resiliency and Balanced Scoring Attack Headline Impressive Week

Andrew VayoContributor IJanuary 16, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 11:  Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins takes the puck in the first period against the Ottawa Senators on January 11, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Following last Saturday's debacle in Montreal, which saw the Bruins' 2-0 lead evaporate into the rafters of the Bell Centre, we were left with the same old thoughts about the Bruins. That feeling continued on through Monday's game in Pittsburgh, where the Bruins were down and out the first 55 minutes of the game losing 2-0.

Then...we saw something different from this team, something unexpected. They pulled off a comeback of their own, scoring two goals in 12 seconds to tie the game up. Mark Recchi then scored his eighth of the season on the power play with less than a minute to go in regulation. The B's even managed to get an empty-netter to seal the win, and an impressive comeback to take advantage of a Penguins team playing without Sidney Crosby. They scored four third-period goals and out-shot Pittsburgh 13-2 in the final frame. 

The Bruins then headed home to open up a four-game home-stand against the struggling Senators in a game which they completely dominated their Northeast Division foes. Bergeron, who has easily been the Bruins' best player thus far aside from maybe Tim Thomas, scored his first career hat trick. Thomas got his sixth shutout of the season, while rookies Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin also scored in the 6-0 impeachment of the Senators. Marchand has been one of the team's best forecheckers, pressuring the puck down low and winning puck battles consistently. 

On Thursday in a thriller at the Garden against the hated Flyers, there were five lead changes and a total of 12 goals in what was one of the most entertaining games of the season. The Bruins got goals from seven different players; including the flaming-hot Bergeron and talented rookies Marchand and Kampfer. In a game filled with back-and-forth action, a fight and some strange bounces, the Bruins beat their rivals 7-5.

Heading into Saturday's matinee against the Penguins, the Bruins earned at least a point in 10 of their last 11 games, going 7-1-3 in that stretch.

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What is most impressive about the play of the team is the ability of their younger players to have significant roles in games. Steven Kampfer, who was called up when Mark Stuart went down in December, has four goals and two assists in 18 games. That includes his two-point performance against the Flyers on Thursday night, where he got the game-winner joining the rush down the right wing.

Kampfer has established himself as being worthy of keeping his job with the big club, perhaps making McQuaid the odd man out once Stuart returns. He fills the hole left by the offseason departure of Wideman as the puck-moving defenseman that joins the rush, which the Bruins needed so badly. As a 22-year-old rookie, his confidence with the puck and speed are assets this team need to keep in the lineup.

Brad Marchand has established himself as a full-time NHLer this season thanks to his penalty-killing abilities, strong forechecking and the willingness to throw the body around. 

We need more of this Bruins team the remainder of the season. They need to make these crisp exits out of their zone as opposed to the predictable D-to-D nightmare that opponents tear apart before they even start. Savard has shown signs of improvement in his comeback but it's been tough and costly at times. It will take time, as it did with Bergeron when Randy Jones blasted him from behind in October of 2007.

We've seen shades of Savvy's brilliance with the puck with some of his passes, yet we've seen his costly blind passes straight to the stick of an opponent. With due time it'll improve, and hopefully in time for the playoffs we'll get the Savard of old.

Lucic needs to get back to the guy we saw his rookie year and in 2008-2009. When he's out there wreaking havoc barreling down on opponents with the puck, Lucic and the Bruins are on their game. This soft version of him won't do any good. His hit on Mike Van Ryn is still shown on montages for the Bruins...let's see him add to that.

The Bruins need to be tougher to play against and what we saw this past week is what we expect to see from this team. It's that Bruins style that we hear about but we see every once and a while. While their play is something to feel good about, let's see this consistently. Let's see this in May.

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