Jake DeBrusk has a little extra pep in his step right now.
The 2020-21 NHL season objectively was a down year for the Boston Bruins left winger. Rather than looking back with a sour taste in his mouth, the 25-year-old seems to be using it as motivation — and it’s paying off.
The young Bruin lit the lamp just five times throughout last year’s regular season but has looked like the DeBrusk of old so far, with two goals through the squad’s first four games, including a nifty finish in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.
His performance most certainly isn’t going unnoticed as fellow left winger Brad Marchand raved about him after Boston’s win.
“He seems to have that extra step in his game this year, which is great to see. He’s such a dangerous player when he’s moving his feet and attacking the way he is and getting in on forechecks and turning pucks over,” Marchand said after the game, via team-provided audio. “He’s a dangerous player and can make something out of nothing like he did on that goal there. It’s great to see he’s continuing his good play and bouncing back this year.”
To put DeBrusk’s hot start into perspective, it took him 18 games last season to pot his second goal. During the 2018-19 season, in which DeBrusk netted a career-high 27 goals, it took five games to reach the two-goal tally.
Although this stat may not automatically mean DeBrusk will record a new career-high, it definitely doesn’t hurt that he seems to be playing with comfort right now.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Sharks:
— Brad Marchand stayed red-hot one once again in Boston’s surprisingly dramatic win over the Sharks.
Marchand has been Boston’s best offensive weapon to open the new season and continued to prove why this is the case with another two points Sunday, including his fourth goal of the season 28 seconds into the matinee matchup. Through four games Marchand now has four goals and three assists to lead the B’s with seven points.
— New netminder Linus Ullmark earned his second straight win with the Black and Gold with a solid performance between the pipes, despite a last-second push by San Jose.
The Sharks were able to make the game much more uncomfortable with two third-period goals to cut their deficit to just one, but Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy did not think the two goals were indicative of Ullmark’s day.
“The two deflections I don’t know if you can fault the goalie on those. Obviously it’s a weak goal on the first one…short side, you want that one,” Cassidy said after the game, via team-provided audio. “(Ullmark) made some good saves on the power play and our power play as well. We broke down and he stopped some breakaways. All-in-all those deflections are tough on any goalie.”
— Derek Forbort and Oskar Steen each hit the scoresheet for the first time as members of the Bruins.
Forbort netted his first goal as a member of the B’s just after Marchand’s first period strike to extend the Boston lead to two at the time. The defenseman also recorded his first assist of the season on DeBrusk’s goal to finish the day with two points.
Steen also earned an assist on DeBrusk’s second period finish which also was his first point as a member of the Black and Gold, but it also was his first career point in the NHL.
— The Bruins hit the ice next Wednesday night at FLA Live Arena against the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. ET. All coverage can be found right here on NESN.