Jake DeBrusk scored two goals in the Bruins’ 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets Tuesday, bringing his season total to 27.
The first? DeBrusk’s shot was blocked by a Columbus defenseman, turning a would-be one-timer into a pop fly that bounced off the top of Sergei Bobrovsky’s net and again off the Blue Jackets goalie’s back into the goal early in the first period.
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The second? Karson Kuhlman sent a pass underneath a sprawling Blue Jackets defenseman on a two-on-one to DeBrusk. He quickly shot the puck past Bobrovsky, who had dropped his blocker to the ice in commitment to a poke check.
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DeBrusk’s second NHL season appeared to be shaping up as something of a sophomore slump midway through the year. After 47 games, the 22-year-old had scored 14 goals and had only 5 assists. In 13 games between Jan. 10 and Feb. 10, DeBrusk did not score once and recorded two assists. He appeared unlikely to match his rookie season total of 43 points.
His scoring has rapidly increased in the regular season’s stretch run. Over the Bruins’ last 19 games, DeBrusk has added 13 goals and 22 total points. He has recorded multi-point games five times since Feb. 12.
All of a sudden, DeBrusk is the fourth-highest goal scorer on the Bruins this season. He could reach 30 with strong performances in the final two games of the regular season.
DeBrusk’s 27 goals are second-most among all sophomore skaters in 2018-19. Three other notable Bruins have scored 27 or more goals in their second full NHL season since 2000: Patrice Bergeron (31 in 2005-06), Brad Marchand (28 in 2011-12), and former Bruin Tyler Seguin (29 in 2011-12).
Seguin’s career in Boston lasted only one season beyond his breakout year. He was traded to the Dallas Stars in July 2013. In six seasons since then, Seguin has scored 30 goals or more five times. He reached 40 goals in 2017-18.
“Just some puck luck, I think,” DeBrusk said postgame Tuesday about his hot streak. “I’m not sure. It’s a matter of executing at the right times, getting some good looks from my linemates. I scored a goal today that was pretty similar to the one I scored against Detroit. It was a give-and-go, similar finish.”
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DeBrusk said that playing among star veterans like Bergeron and Marchand, who reached 100 points for the season Tuesday, makes young players want to emulate their work ethic.
“I’ve learned some chirps along the way,” DeBrusk said of learning from Marchand. “No, I’m just kidding – well, not really. Obviously a lot, anytime you have a 100-point producer on your team it’s pretty special. The things I take away are kind of his off-ice habits, to be honest with you. He’s an amazing player on the ice, he sees things other guys don’t see. Off the ice, it’s his preparation, him and [Bergeron], all their years here. They’re pretty similar in that… They won a Stanley Cup for a reason.”