BOSTON – The Bruins pride themselves on the balance throughout their lineup, and rely on their overwhelming depth to get them through when the going gets tough during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Both came through for the Black and Gold throughout their first round series victory over the Detroit Red Wings, and were present in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Wings in Game 5 at TD Garden.
The Bruins scored 14 goals in the five games against the Wings in the first round, and had 10 different players get a goal for Boston in those final four games after being shut out in Game 1. Six of the 14 goals were power play scored, and only Milan Lucic (three goals), Jarome Iginla (two goals) and Zdeno Chara (two goals) finished as multi-goal scorers in the series.
On the other side, the Red Wings scored just six goals in the series from only four different players.
“That’s why it has been so great the whole year. The whole team has been unbelievable, and it’s pretty good to see that,” said Eriksson, who became the 10th Bruins to score a goal in the first period of Saturday afternoon’s win. “Justin [Florek] coming up and hasn’t played that many games and he’s been doing a good job there with me…Carl [Soderberg] and even some other guys too. It’s nice to see that, and I think everyone is comfortable.”
Everybody is comfortable, and more important for the Bruins everyone is being productive.
The Bruins received goals from each of their four forward lines in the series, and got lamp-lighters from three of the eight defensemen that suited up for the series. That’s forms a well-balanced attack for the Bruins where opposing defenses can’t really focus on any one area.
That’s a key part of Boston’s success during the regular season, and it was a big part of the downfall of Detroit. Jarome Iginla was asked following Saturday’s win if this Bruins team is the best NHL team he’s ever played on, and the future Hall of Famer just started reeling off names.
“It’s a great group of guys, and what makes them so special I think is…I don’t think there’s any one thing. I think it’s a group that you know we’re a very close group, and guys have been through it before. But [it's] a very hungry very competitive group. I think you know starting with Zee [Zdeno Chara], Bergy [Patrice Bergeron], Tuukks [Tuukka Rask], Soup [Gregory Campbell] – you name it, there’s a whole group of guys – Thorty [Shawn Thornton] – it just goes on and on – that love to compete and battle – Looch [Milan Lucic] – literately you could just keep naming guys,” said Iginla. “You know one guy goes out and leads the way, and the next guy keeps going and going. We take a lot of pride in trying to work and compete and just battle. It’s definitely one of the best teams that I’ve been on.”
It’s only been one playoff round in the books for Iginla and the rest of the Bruins, but the depth and balance of a loaded Bruins roster is quickly proving just how good they are compared to the rest of the league.