While the game wasn’t solely decided by the play of Boston’s defensemen, the Bruins’ d-corps continued to show that they are perhaps the deepest unit in all of hockey. Hampus Lindholm scored his 10th goal of the season while Dmitry Orlov picked up his seventh assist since joining the B’s on February 23. Charlie McAvoy did finish as a minus-1, but played a team-high 21:59 and registered five shots on goal.
So, no. It wasn’t their best performance of the season. It was, however, an afternoon that left Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery feeling “lucky” to have players like McAvoy and Lindholm leading such a stacked unit.
“(McAvoy’s) just dominant, physically,” Montgomery said postgame. “He kills plays, he ends plays and then he makes plays. He does it with his legs, with his mind and with his hands. We’re lucky that we have a defenseman like him and Lindholm and the d-corps we have.”
The 3-2 win was yet another example of what has stood out about Lindholm in Montgomery’s eyes.
“The thing that sticks out to me about Lindholm is that when things aren’t going well, his belief in himself and his ability to make a difference,” Montgomery said. “When I look at the Pittsburgh game, I think that first period wasn’t a good period for him. I think he was a minus-2, but he ends up with four points that night.
“I’ve seen it repeatedly… It was the back-to-back in Calgary, all of a sudden he found the fountain of youth or something. I’m like, ‘Did someone just inject him with steroids?’ Because he was just flying around. That’s his ability, within the game, to find the elite level. It’s pretty impressive.”
The three defensemen mentioned are cornerstone players in a unit that literally has too many starters. Montgomery has adopted a rotation, filing Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton in and out of the lineup in order to give everyone playing time — and rest — as the B’s prepare for a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.