The NHL season is a grind, especially in this year’s shortened 56-game slate. Although it is not as long as usual, the NHL is packing in more games per week for each team. With as many as four games a week, with many on back-to-back nights, players have little opportunity to rest. This makes it more difficult to sustain high levels of play for an extended period of time. Some can do it better than others. Each week, we will take a look at players on the Boston Bruins who are on a hot or cold streak. This week we look at Patrice Bergeron and Craig Smith.
Boston Bruins Hot and Cold Streaks
Hot Streak: Patrice Bergeron
The Boston Bruins had an ok week in terms of wins and losses. One guy who did not have an ok week was Patrice Bergeron. He had a great week. The centreman is best known for his defensive prowess and talent in the faceoff dot. He was certainly successful there with an impressive 67.5 percent win rate on faceoffs. Few do it as well as Bergeron does and he put his abilities on full display this past week.
While he is not known for his offensive output, that does not mean Patrice Bergeron is incapable of producing. Forming the Perfection Line alongside David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, the three of them accounted for six goals in the last week. Bergeron recorded four of them. He is finding ways to get pucks in the net and at critical times. He scored once against the New Jersey Devils to tie the game, a game-winner in their first matchup against the New York Rangers, and a late goal to pull within one Saturday afternoon. Bergeron was not only excellent in producing offence, but he was doing it in clutch moments.
Cold Streak: Craig Smith
So far this year, Craig Smith has been everything Boston hoped and dreamed he could be when they signed him to a contract. In 53 games he has scored 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 total points. He ranks fifth on the team this year, only behind Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, and David Krejci. That said, he did not have a good week. Smith could not muster a single point in four contests this week. With the quality of opponents fairly low in the Devils and Rangers this week, he should have been able to find a way to put at least one point on the board.
Now Boston has not matched up favourably to the Devils this season. They have struggled to find ways to win against them in some very low-scoring contests. But now the Devils are out of the running for a playoff spot. Now is the time they should be experimenting with their lineup and seeing what they have in some of their young guys. This is the best time to produce and Smith failed to put even one point on the board. The same thing could be said about their contests against the Rangers.