Bruins torch Canadiens for nine goals in blowout
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It was only fitting that on a night where the Bruins honored the ‘new blood, new beginnings’ era of the club’s history (and more specifically the 1988 team that ended the team’s ‘Montreal jinx’ with a series victory over the Canadiens), that Danton Heinen and the Bruins absolutely pummeled their century-long rival for nine goals in a blowout victory at TD Garden.
In fact, the Bruins were a mere tally away from scoring their most goals since, you guessed it, 1988.
“I think it talks about the evolution of our team growing offensively,” B’s coach Jim Montgomery said following his team’s latest triumph. “I don’t think we ever envisioned having a night like this. Over the course of 82 games, there’s some outliers, but I thought that we’ve been seeing this coming here for four games.”
All in all, it was a night that featured 16 different Bruins recording at least one point — center Matt Poitras and defenseman Derek Forbort were the only two players to post a 0-0-0 line — and a highlight on a player who had spent the first month of the 2023-24 season hanging around on a pro tryout agreement with the hopes of landing with the Bruins.
Heinen, a 28-year-old do-it-all wing, finally got his chance to shine under the bright lights, as the Bruins knowingly put him out there for a late-game power-play opportunity with an opportunity for him to record his first career hat trick. And though Heinen missed on his first look, he made sure he buried his second as the opening to yet another hat parade on the Garden ice.
For Heinen, the three-goal outing snapped what was an eight-game goalless drought, and came a day after Montgomery made it a point to seek out Heinen during a Friday practice at Brighton’s Warrior Ice Arena and urge him to continue to drive to the high-danger areas of the offensive zone. (The Bruins’ internal analytics note that Heinen has generated the fifth-most scoring chances among all Bruins.)
“Some games you feel like you play well, and you help the team and stuff, and [your chances] may not go in [and] other nights you may not feel like you have it and sometimes it goes in,” Heinen said following the victory. “So I think that was maybe one of those nights tonight, but yeah, I just try to help the team, so it’s nice to help on the scoreboard, too.”
While Heinen’s third goal came on the power play, his first two were scored at even strength, bringing his on-ice even-strength scoring differential up to 26-14 in over 470 minutes of even-strength action. That, along with Heinen’s ability to play both sides and all situations, is giving the Bruins everything they could’ve asked for at just a $775,000 cap hit.
Carlo, three others return to B’s lineup
The big news for the Bruins in this one came before the game, as the Bruins welcomed Poitras, Forbort, and Brandon Carlo back to the lineup while Linus Ullmark made his first start since he suffered a lower-body injury in the team’s Jan. 9 overtime loss to the Coyotes.
All four players looked to be battling some rust in this one.
- To make room for Forbort and Carlo on the NHL roster, the Bruins sent Johnny Beecher and Mason Lohrei down to Providence. This was seemingly done given the roster flexibility of both Beecher and Lohrei in the sense that they do not require waivers to be sent down to the minors. And the good news if you’re the Bruins: Both Beecher and Lohrei handled the ‘demotion’ in the best way possible, as both players scored in Sunday’s P-Bruins overtime win.
- The heat-up is here for Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. With a goal and an assist in this one (and what a beauty of an assist it was), DeBrusk is up to seven goals and 13 points in his last 13 games. It really feels like DeBrusk is impacting the game at both ends of the rink, too.
- Another 30-goal season for the Bruins’ David Pastrnak. Just another day at the office.
- Don’t you miss when Bruins-Canadiens games meant something? I’ve said this for entirely too long now, but this is just another game on the schedule these days. Gimme the hate! Gimme the anger! Gimme the meaningful showdowns between these two rivals!
Up next: The Bruins will welcome the Jets to TD Garden for a Monday night head-to-head between two of the best teams in the NHL through the halfway point of the season. The Jets defeated the Bruins by a 5-1 final when these teams linked up in Winnipeg back on Dec. 22.