Loui Eriksson

5 things we learned: Very good player Loui Eriksson's hat trick leads Bruins past Wild

DJ Bean
November 19, 2015 - 4:40 pm
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In a season that'€™s featured plenty of bad, no Bruins player has been as good as Loui Eriksson. The 30-year-old provided another reminder on Thursday night. Eriksson picked up his first hat trick as a Bruin as he scored Boston'€™s second, third and fourth goals in a 4-2 win over the Wild. It took Eriksson only 16:37 to score his three goals. While it was Eriksson'€™s first three-goal showing with the B'€™s, it was also his third multi-goal performance in 18 games this season. Eriksson now leads the Bruins with nine goals on the season, one ahead of linemate David Krejci'€™s eight. With Thursday'€™s performance, it'€™s probably worth noting again that Eriksson is in the final year of a contract that carries a $4.25 million cap hit. Teams don'€™t get better by losing their best players, so the Bruins would be wise to do their best to try and retain the player. Here are four more things we learned Thursday night: HIT ENDS VATRANO'€™S NIGHT Rookie callup Frank Vatrano went hard into the endboards on his first shift of the second period and did not return to the game. Vatrano went turned at the last second as he was set to absorb a hit from Nate Prosser, resulting in him appearing to hit the boards with his right shoulder taking the brunt of the impact. Claude Julien told reporters following the game that Vatrano had an upper-body injury. Vatrano had taken warmups with David Krejci and Loui Eriksson, but he also saw time with Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly in the first period, taking only four shifts in the first 20 minutes. If Vatrano is to miss any time, the Bruins would likely have to recall Max Talbot from Providence, as they currently have only 12 forwards on their roster and Providence forwards Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith and Brian Ferlin are injured. PK STEPS UP The Bruins did a very un-Bruins thing Thursday by killing penalties successfully. After entering the night with the worst penalty kill in the league, the B'€™s managed to kill off all three of Minnesota'€™s power plays, including a Brad Marchand hooking penalty at 15:53 of the third period that saw the Wild pull Devan Dubnyk and go 6-on-4. By going 3-for-3 on the PK, the Bruins killed off all their penalties in a game for just the third time this season, not counting the season-opener in which the Jets never went on the power play. BELESKEY DROPS THE GLOVES Matt Beleskey hasn'€™t been a standout player to this point with the B'€™s, but it'€™s certainly not for lack of effort. Beleskey works hard and he plays as physical a game he can, as is evidenced by the fact that he leads the team in hits (which, to remind everyone, is the worst and dumbest stat in sports because it'€™s an anti-possession stat, but I digress). On Thursday, Beleskey'€™s toughness was tested in his first fight with the Bruins. The former Duck passed with flying colors, pounding Brett Bulmer to the ice in short order 5:34 into the game. Beleskey had drawn a tripping penalty on Bulmer earlier in the period. BRUINS SWITCH MILLERS Kevan Miller sat out with an upper-body injury Thursday, allowing Colin Miller to re-enter the lineup after a two game stint in the press box. Miller had an up-and-down night, as he started the rush that resulted in Eriksson'€™s third goal but also played a part in a goal against. He didn'€™t catch a pass from Zdeno Chara at the Bruins'€™ blue line in the second period, resulting in a turnover. That led to Nino Niederreiter feeding Mikko Koivu, whose shot yielded a rebound that Jason Zucker buried past Jonas Gustavsson just over five minutes into the second period for Minnesota'€™s first goal.

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