Remember the “Taylor or Tyler” debate before the 2010 draft? Edmonton opted to pick Hall first and then the Bruins chose Seguin second. The Bruins likely still regret trading Seguin away after he helped them win the 2011 Stanley Cup and got them close to another in 2013. But so far they do not regret trading for Hall this season. He’s not the franchise player he was expected to be, but he’s providing major contributions to this Bruins team that had another strong week, maintaining its momentum as it heads toward the playoffs.
Boston started the week by splitting two games at Pittsburgh, a really good result against a really good opponent on the road. In the first contest, the Bruins were shutout 1-0 despite another strong effort by rookie Jeremy Swayman. Two nights later, they exacted revenge with a 3-1 victory with goals by David Krejci (more on him later), Brad Marchand, and Hall. It was Marchand’s team-leading 26th goal. He also leads the team in assists and short-handed goals — and that’s for a guy who plays alongside Patrice Bergeron and David Pastranak. Not bad for a 3rd round draft pick. While he most likely will not win it, he’s in the league MVP conversation.
Bruins Take on Sabres
Then, the Bruins returned home to beat up on the hapless Buffalo Sabres over two games. The first game, a 5-2 victory, was highlighted by a buzzer-beating goal from Krejci at the end of the first period.
The Sabres kept it close and even tied it at 2 in the third period before the Bruins put it away with three unanswered goals, including an airborne 70-foot empty netter by Marchand.
Two days later, in a Saturday afternoon matinee, the Bruins achieved a similar result, a 6-2 beatdown led by a Craig Smith hat trick. Krejci, Smith’s linemate, contributed three assists. The chemistry of the Krejci-Hall-Smith line has been instrumental in Boston’s recent resurgence. In fact, since the Bruins added Hall, Krejci has exploded with six goals and eight assists.
The B’s are now 12-4-1 over the last 17 games, perhaps peaking just in time for the playoffs. The remaining schedule will be a good test to assess their readiness. This week they will go to New Jersey to play a team that has given them fits despite its poor record. Then, they’ll travel back to Boston for two battles against the likely playoff-contending New York Rangers.
By: Peter Mooney CruelFan.com