When the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators, they fulfilled a season-long prophecy to secure a third line centre. Not only did the Penguins bolster their depth down the middle, they added another weapon to their already potent playoff arsenal. Proving yet again that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is a patient man, able to pull off trades, woven with mastery.
While Brassard failed to collect a point in his first game with the Penguins, he did put two shots on goal in 16:58 of ice time. He also went 46.2% in the face-off circle.
As we wait for Brassard to light the lamp with the Penguins, here is a look at five of Brassards finest performances – To date
Top Derick Brassard Performances
February 18, 2017, Ottawa Senators Vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
While the Senators and Maple Leafs competed in another chapter in the “Battle of Ontario”, it was Brassard who proved to be the hero of the encounter with a solid 3-point performance.
Brassard’s first point of the evening was a primary assist on Chris Wideman‘s fourth goal of the season at the 17: 26 mark of the first period. With the score knotted at 3-3 in the third period and Nazem Kadri serving a holding penalty, Brassard seized the opportunity to collect his tenth goal of the season, scoring a power-play marker that would stand as the game-winner. Brassard collected his second goal (11th of the season) of the game by scoring an empty-net tally late in the third period. The Senators took the game by a score of 6-3.
Blue Jacket Blues
When the 8-5-0 Blue Jackets and 9-1-2 Blues locked up for this contentious early season affair, no-one could have predicted the bad blood that would begin to boil and both teams compile 46 minutes in penalties.
Buried amidst the broken hockey sticks and the echo of penalty calls was a solid three-point performance from Brassard.
Torching The Old Guard
April 3, 2013, New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
When Brassard suited up for this late season encounter against the team he would join five years later, he probably didn’t expect to collect four points or the Rangers to torch Marc-Andre Fleury for six goals.
The Penguins had stacked up a stellar record of 28-10-0 in the strike-shortened season, Whereas the Rangers were struggling to find some consistency and compiled an 18-15-3 record to date.
The Rangers opened the scoring midway through the first period when Brad Richards buried a feed on the powerplay from Brassard and Dan Girardi. With the Rangers holding a 3-0 lead, going into the second period, Brassard collected his eighth goal of the season, scoring a power-play goal (Brian Boyle, Girardi) with Evgeni Malkin serving a penalty for tripping, two minutes into the frame. Brassard would collect two more assists in the game, setting up Ryan Clowe’s second goal of the season and John Moore‘s first.
The Rangers earned a 6-1 victory and Brassard earned the only four-point game of his career.
Fire On Ice
January 25, 2016, New York Rangers Vs. Buffalo Sabres
With Brassard chasing the second best season of his career (58 points), he chose a dreary winter day in January to post the second five-point game of his career in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers opened the scoring six minutes into the first when Brassard set up Rangers defenceman Dylan McIlrath‘s second goal of the season, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
With the Rangers holding a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, Brassard would explode for four points, collecting goals 16 (Jesper Fast, Kevin Klein) and 17 (empty net) of the season and earned secondary assists on goals by J.T. Miller and Mats Zuccarello.
The Rangers took the game 6-3 and Brassard put on full display that he has the ability to find another gear.
May 26, 2015, New York Rangers Vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals
With the Lightning holding a 3-2 series advantage and looking to close the Rangers out in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Brassard entered pure beast mode, and almost single-handedly forced a seventh and deciding game against Tampa, as he factored in on five of the Rangers seven goals.
Brassard opened the scoring for the Rangers early in the first period, collecting his seventh goal of the post-season and first goal of the game, burying a feed from J.T Miller and Dan Boyle at the 3:26 mark. Less than 10-Minutes later, Brassard earned the primary assist on a Keith Yandle goal, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead before the end of the first period.
With the Rangers holding on to a slim 2-1 lead early in the second period, Brassard collected his second assist of the game by setting up Miller’s first goal of the playoffs and giving New York a 3-1 lead. With the Rangers pouring it on, Brassard collected his second goal of the game from Miller and Nash, putting New York up 5-1 and chasing Lightning goalie Ben Bishop from the net, after he allowed 5 goals on 26 shots.
Brassard completed the hat-trick by scoring an empty net goal with two minutes left in regulation, securing a 7-3 victory for Rangers and setting up a game seven encounter in New York City. Brassard finished the game with three goals and five points, capping off one of the finest performances in his career.
Embed from Getty Images