By Kate Joseph
With Zdeno Chara off the ice due to a knee injury, the Boston Bruins were faced with a major hole in their roster this weekend. Despite the loss of the major player, the Toronto Maple Leafs were still no match for Boston, who took the game in a 4-1 win.
The matchup kicked off with the Bruins lighting up the scoreboard first at 3:27. Center Carl Soderberg made the goal with assistance from Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton.
Boston upped their score again in the second period with a goal at 15:58 from David Krejci with assistance from Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg.
Early in the third quarter, the Maple Leafs missed an opportunity to catch up to the Bruins after Adam McQuaid was penalized at 0:23. However, Boston was able to come back strong when a pass was deflected into a shorthand goal by Gregory Campbell with assistance from Daniel Paille.
Hamilton continued his scoring efforts by sinking a goal at 4:09 along with assistance from Bergeron and Reilly Smith.
Toronto finally made their way into the game at 14:27 with one goal by Richard Panik, who was assisted by Tyler Bozak and Cody Franson.
“Frustration, anger … that is the two things that were front-and-center from a coaching staff’s perspective,” said Toronto coach Randy Carlyle. “We didn’t win too many battles early in the hockey game. Probably for the first 30 minutes we didn’t move our feet and execute. It was like the Bruins had the puck and we struggled to get it back.”
However, the visiting Bruins walked away with a win, as well as a new confidence of the team’s strength without Chara, who will be sidelined for another four to six weeks.
Hamilton, a Toronto native who is the team’s youngest defenseman, has taken over Chara’s role on the ice. But despite one goal and two assists, Hamilton doesn’t believe anyone will be replacing Chara in any way.
“I think it’s everyone having to step up,” said Hamilton. “I don’t think one player can fill Z’s shoes. That’s impossible.”
Whether or not Hamilton is destined to be Boston’s new MVP, he did dress up as Queen Elsa, the star of Disney’s “Frozen,” for a Halloween visit to Boston Children’s Hospital with teammates this week.
The Bruins return on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. to face the Buffalo Sabres in New York.