Heading into the home stretch of the regular season, the Bruins’ recent performances left a lot to be desired. Their up-and-down play had raised concern amongst the fanbase and drew sharp criticism from their head coach. With a difficult slate of playoff teams and hopefuls left on the schedule, the outlook was not optimistic for Boston. However, a trio of emphatic wins in the past week has swung momentum in the complete opposite direction. Simply put, the Bruins are answering the bell.

Since Montgomery bag skated the team in practice on March 25th, the B’s are 5-1 with four road victories.

The only loss in that span came against Tampa Bay on the second night of a back-to-back after beating Florida. Over the past week, Boston bested red-hot Nashville 3-0, thumped Carolina 4-1 in Raleigh, and downed the Panthers for the second time in under two weeks. The victory against Florida opened up a five-point lead in the Atlantic Division with four games to play.

The last few games have been a dramatic shift in team performance from the lethargic losses against New York and Philadelphia. Several Bruins have answered the ball over this stretch, but the Heinen-Zacha-Pastrnak line has led the charge. In the last six games, that trio combined seven goals and twenty-three points.

Heinen’s play has been particularly impressive, considering he came in on a PTO late in the offseason. After factoring in all three games last week, including multi-point outings in Nashville and Carolina, he now has 16 goals and 35 points on the year.

Another Bruin who has really raised their game as of late is Linus Ullmark. Since reportedly refusing a trade at the deadline, the reigning Vezina trophy winner is 5-2 with a .947 Save % and 1.57 Goals Against in seven starts.

Of course, who could forget Brad Marchand finally scoring elusive goal #400. The Captain had been stuck on 399 since March 8th and got the monkey off his back by opening the score against Carolina.

The Bruins answered the bell when Montgomery first rang it, but the job wasn’t done.

There’s still a rematch with Carolina and playoff hopefuls Pittsburgh and Washington on the schedule. As it stands, the Bruins would face Tampa Bay in the playoffs, which would be a long and brutal series. They’re back to playing their best hockey right now, and that’s all we could’ve asked for a week ago.


Photo: @NHLBruins / Instagram

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