On Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins trade deadline acquisitions paid immediate dividends against the Carolina Hurricanes in a 4-3 win in overtime. Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels, both traded to the Bruins shortly before the deadline, immediately gave the fans of Boston a reason to love them.
Immediate Production from the Boston Bruins Trade Deadline Acquisitions
Rick Nash is Born Again
Early in the first, Rick Nash was part of a potential scoring chance but was unable to capitalize. A quick turnaround by Carolina sent the Boston defence back to their own zone, including Nash. Tuukka Rask stopped the Hurricanes shot, but a rebound gave them another scoring opportunity. As the skate of a crashing Hurricane knocked the puck toward the goal line, Nash hooked it away, saving a goal. It wasn’t until the replay was shown on the screens inside TD Garden that most of the fans got to see Nash’s effort.
The importance of the save by Nash carries past one game. After seeing his chances of the postseason dwindle with the New York Rangers, Nash has found a reason to play again. The Rangers sit in dead last in the Metropolitan Division and had openly announced that they were going to rebuild for next season.
With a fresh start on a new, practically playoff-bound team, Nash can play his game. That also includes scoring goals – something he did minutes later. After a steal by Jake Debrusk and a pass from David Krejci, Nash stickhandled the puck in a rather instinctive motion that a 15-year veteran scorer has. Before goaltender Scott Darling even saw the shot, Nash put the puck in the back of the net and had his hands in the air with the spotlight on him.
Tommy Wingels Wins Fans Over
In the final shift of the first period, Wingels took to the ice to make something happen. With less than 10 seconds left, he pressed the Carolina defence on a scoring chance but was stopped. However, the puck was not fully taken away from him and Wingels used one arm to slap the puck to a trailing Riley Nash who finished with a simple dangle to cut the Hurricanes lead to one. Then in the second period, Wingels got his first goal as a Bruin on a top left corner snipe from the right face-off circle to tie the game at 3-3.
In just one game, Wingels is showing that he wants to play with the edge the Bruins wanted when the traded for him. With the Chicago Blackhawks in the last place in the Central Division, it was unlikely that he would have a shot at the Cup, just like Nash with the Rangers.
Wingels also faced a problem in seeing his career come to a plateau. With 16 goals in 2013-14 followed by 15 in 2014-15, he hadn’t reached double digits in any season before or after. The grit Wingels has shown is a perfect match for a team looking to be a serious contender in the playoffs.
When news broke that Boston acquired him, it was expected that he would be a reliable fourth-line centre. But with the recent news that star centre Patrice Bergeron would miss the next few weeks with a fractured foot, Wingels was forced to step up – which he did against Carolina.
What’s Next for Boston
With a tough upcoming schedule against playoff-ready teams like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the Bruins will need their new additions to keep playing the way they did on Tuesday.
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