With 9:04 left in the third period and the Boston Bruins trailing 3-1, defenseman Dougie Hamilton lit the fuse with a strike from the point. The goal sparked a four-goal comeback that put the Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens, tying the series at one.
In Game 1, it was Johnny Boychuk who forced overtime with less than two minutes to go in the third frame. Both goals drum up memories of 2012-13’s postseason run, wherein the blue line factored significantly on the score sheet.
For the second year in a row, the Bruins are seeing their scoring being led from the men in the back, and it could mean a deep push for the black and gold.
In 2012-13, Boston blue-liners scored 23 goals, good for 10.5 percent of the team total. However, when the playoffs rolled around, the point was energized, scoring 26 percent of the team’s tallies (17 of 65) en route to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Youngsters Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Hamilton stepped up to the plate, driving the offense in pivotal moments.
Now, as the offensive machine is clicking into gear, its no surprise that it’s the defense behind the surge. In the regular season, 50 of the 259 goals (19 percent) the Bruins notched were attributed to the D. In the playoffs, this production has nearly doubled. Hamilton’s third period lamp-lighter was the seventh by a Bruins defenseman this postseason, bringing the total for their back-end corps up to an astounding 35 percent.
Beyond the sheer numbers, goals from the Boston blue line have proven to be timely momentum changers. So long as they continue to stroke at this stride, the Bruins should be looking at another lengthy playoff run.