By Jamie Gatlin
After finishing the season with 100 points, the Bruins return to play has been less than in inspiring. In two games, they have been outscored 7-3. While the Bruins rallied from a two a goal deficit on Wednesday, they were unable to complete the comeback against Tampa Bay and lost their chance at the number one seed. While the Bruins have struggled in their return, Chris Wagner has returned to the NHL bubble on fire.
Coming into the postseason, Wagner had appeared in 33 playoff games and recorded five playoff goals. His best postseason run came in 2016-2017 with the Anaheim Ducks, where he had three goals in 17 games. Through two games, however, Wagner is already on the cusp of setting new career highs.
The Walpole native already has two goals tying his total from last year’s postseason run. Wagner has been aggressive offensively as he landed five shots on net and is shooting the puck 40 percent of the time.
Wagners hot start has been a welcoming sign for the Bruins as many of their forwards have yet to get on track. The Bruins top line has combined for one assist, and David Krejci has yet to record a point. Charlie Coyle has yet to appear on the stat sheet but played very well against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.
Additionally, Wagners start is a welcoming sign after a somewhat disappointing regular season. After recording 19 points in his first season as Bruin Wagner only had ten this year. He also failed to score more than six goals after setting a career-high with 12 during the 2018-2019 season.
While the fourth line winger has been impressive offensively, he affects the game on both ends of the ice. Through the Bruins first two playoff games, Wagner has blocked two shots and landed 11 hits. The Walpole native also has two faceoff wins, which ties his total from last year.
As the playoffs continue, the Bruins will need the rest of their forwards to improve. That will undoubtedly come as the Bruins are still getting up to speed after the season was put on hold. To win the Stanley Cup, however, the Bruins will need help from every line, and so far, Wagner has answered the call.