Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Boychuk gets on board with flourish
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- Last year, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk didn't light the lamp with his booming shot until after New Year's Eve. While he has had his fair share of chances this season, he was wondering if he might be in for a long wait again.
But on Tuesday he got his first goal of the season at a key spot, scoring the game-winner 6:41 into the third period to help propel the Bruins to a 5-3 win over the Senators.
"There were a couple where I just barely missed the net, and I finally got one through," Boychuk said. I was just thinking 'hit the net' because I kept missing the net before. Obviously it feels a lot better -- getting that first one. Now you don’t have to worry about it."
Coach Claude Julien was thrilled for Boychuk, who he feels has been one of the few consistent Bruins this season.
"I think Johnny’s been one of our best defensemen since the beginning of the year," Julien said. "He hasn’t had the highs and lows that maybe some others have, but he’s been pretty good for us. I know he’s a player that, to my eyes anyway, is still growing every year, although he’s in his third year with us. He’s a guy that just keeps going and going.
"I like his discipline and his way of playing. He plays guys hard, but at the same time, he has enough confidence to move the puck well. The goal he scored was a typical Johnny Boychuk shot that you’d like to see even more of."
Boychuk was simply happy he and his teammates were able to beat a hot team in Ottawa -- who had won six straight -- and get themselves back on the winning track.
"They’ve been playing really well and we haven’t been playing the best hockey and we know that," Boychuk said. "We just wanted to come out tonight and play together and that’s what he did."