B’s DeBrusk goes off­side to find game

Boston Herald - - NHL SCOREBOARD - By MARISA INGEMI Twit­ter: @Marisa_Ingemi

Jake DeBrusk is find­ing his game.

The Bru­ins winger came close to scor­ing his first goal of the sea­son on Thurs­day night while crash­ing the net in a 4-1 win over the Oil­ers. It didn’t come quite yet, though his hard work has been put in.

“There hasn’t been any pro­duc­tion yet, but ev­ery game I’m feel­ing com­fort­able and try­ing to gen­er­ate more chances,” DeBrusk said. “I can’t wait to (cel­e­brate) that first one, that’s for sure.”

DeBrusk was moved to the right side to ac­co­mo­date Joakim Nord­strom, who did score, on the left of David Kre­jci. De­spite play­ing away from his nat­u­ral wing, DeBrusk didn’t make mis­takes with the puck, and still had some jump to his of­fense.

“The chal­lenge would be through the neu­tral zone, you’re ex­pos­ing the puck,” said Bru­ins coach Bruce Cas­sidy. “When you’re on your off side, I think guys that can sep­a­rate quick have an eas­ier time . . . . I thought he han­dled that well.”

DeBrusk was also tak­ing pucks dif­fer­ently on his off­side. It’s a role with which he’s familiar. In his break­out Game 7 play­off game against the Maple Leafs last sea­son, he scored two goals on his off-wing.

And against the Oil­ers, he did play ar­guably his most com­plete game of the young sea­son.

“I thought he played well on that line,” said Cas­sidy. “He won a puck bat­tle that led to Nord­strom’s goal with (Mi­lan) Lu­cic. He got a shot off on that side, that’s an­other chal­lenge, you’re ex­pos­ing it when you shoot, so it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent an­i­mal with how you at­tack.”

DeBrusk played on that side at times in the pre­sea­son and had a strong ex­hi­bi­tion sea­son, so the Bru­ins weren’t un­com­fort­able putting him in that role.

“I think it’s just you’re on the other side of the ice,” said DeBrusk. “I played it in ju­nior, had a lit­tle bit in Prov­i­dence as well. I played it grow­ing up. I’m pretty con­fi­dent on that side. It’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent go­ing into the game. There’s a cou­ple of times I found my­self wan­der­ing to the left side.”

DeBrusk and Kre­jci are a pair­ing that likely won’t be split this sea­son, but in the quest to find a right winger for the sec­ond unit, the Bru­ins are ex­per­i­ment­ing. To­day against De­troit, the Bru­ins will have Nord­strom stay­ing with that line, though the tin­ker­ing isn’t done yet.

Mean­while, DeBrusk is slowly but surely find­ing his own groove, no mat­ter what’s go­ing on around him.

“It’ll sort it­self out is the way to look at it,” said Cas­sidy. “I do believe we have lots of good play­ers. Some of them are still search­ing for their game, ob­vi­ously. I believe they’ll find it.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MATT STONE

LET’S GET IT ON: Ed­mon­ton’s Drake Cag­giula (91) and the Bru­ins’ David Backes square off, while the Oil­ers’ Ryan Strome (18) gets a hold of Anders Bjork dur­ing Thurs­day night’s game.

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