Once again the Bruins separated from their opponent in the final 20 minutes of regulation in Bostons 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. It's become something of a calling card.
The Bruins have outscored other NHL teams by a 48-22 margin in the third periods of NHL games this season and that isnt just an accident.
Its also because the Bruins dont hold the third period up as an be-all end-all for winning or losing games either. They just simply look at it as an opportunity to continue attacking with the same consistent flow from the beginning to the ends of games. It's an approach that is the residue of winning a championship.
It also helps if youve done some researching into King Arthurs Court, as Tim Thomas seems to have done.
Its probably because were trying to play every period the same and were not putting an over-emphasis on any period, said Tim Thomas, who made 16 saves in a final 20 minutes that saw him in full brick wall mode. We have confidence that we have stronger as the game goes on.
Stronger 'til dawn like Sir Lancelot. I dont know if you guys know what that means. Back in medieval times the duels would go all night because they had the heavy armor and they could hardly move, and the legend is that Lancelot would just keep getting strong the longer they went on. So thats what I mean by that.
Much of it is predicated on the depth of their lines and their overall physical style that wears down opponents, but theres also the simple mechanics of a team that knows the best time to break their opponents.
When we play our game we just try to be consistent and I think the consistency eventually pays off. Its usually in the third period, said Andrew Ference. Good things happen if we get a good fore-check going and we get some extended shifts in their zone. It tires teams out, and I think that there are mistakes that are made when youre tired.
When were playing really good hockey, I think that helps us out. I think teams just, especially their defensemen . . . when our forwards do a good job and our fore-check can be really effective, guys get worn out.
Wave after wave of attackers come for the Bruins as Claude Julien rolls four lines. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron finally busted through with Marchands dangling one-on-one move following an elite Tyler Seguins saucer pass. That play was made possible by a softened Montreal defensemen corps that had made some mistakes through the game like P.K. Subbans soft play that turned into a goal off David Krejcis skate in the second period but was really ripe for the kill in the final 20 minutes.
Travis Moen gave away the puck to Bergeron by the Habs blue line, and Marchands score arrived just seconds later.
Theres a reason the Bs are a gaudy 17-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period: Killer instinct and good goaltending.
The team often talks about playing a full 60 minutes, but maybe they should just simply embrace the slogan stronger 'til dawn because thats exactly what they are.