Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Louie DeBrusk’s plan for Bruins F Jake DeBrusk’s sophomore success

Matt Kalman
October 11, 2018 - 8:02 am

Bruins fans weren’t the only ones on the edge of their seats during Boston’s roller-coaster Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last April.

At a bar in The Bellagio in Las Vegas, Louie DeBrusk, father to Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk, was as emotionally invested in the outcome as anyone between Boston and The Strip watching the Bruins come from a goal behind in the third period to win 7-4.

“When Toronto would score the place would erupt. When Boston would score the place would erupt and it was a back-and-forth game,” Louie recalled to on Wednesday. “And I was just like sweating the whole game because ... they had it and they gave it back and then all of a sudden it’s like ‘oh man, they’re in trouble now.’ And then they found a way to pull it out, which is what playoffs are all about.”

The father had to watch the son from afar because he was working as color analyst on Sportsnet’s coverage of the Vegas Golden Knight’s first two playoff rounds. The night of Game 7, Jake produced the highlight of his successful rookie season (16 goals, 27 assists) by scoring twice, including the go-ahead goal at 5:25 of the third period.

“It was awesome. I guess amazing, nerve-wracking, exciting, all those words in one really. Playoffs are playoffs, right? I was lucky enough to play in some games myself, and to see how they won against Toronto, won that first round, the impact he had on the round, it was great,” said Louie, who played 401 regular-season and 15 playoffs games in his NHL career. “He just wants to contribute, wants to help the team, and he did in that regard.”

Louie, a color analyst for Edmonton Oilers games during the season, doesn’t get to watch his son play in person as a spectator often. So with the Oilers scheduled to play the Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday, Louie secured permission from his bosses to come to Boston early and he got to see the Bruins beat Ottawa on Monday. Then father and son had a couple days to hang out. On Wednesday, Louie watched the Bruins practice before the Oilers also skated at Warrior Ice Arena.

Jake and his linemates, David Krejci and Ryan Donato, have been a little snake-bit in the early portion of this season. But Jake looks primed to avoid a sophomore jinx, and his dad made sure to give him a little advice about how to build off his strong rookie season.

“I mean I think he puts that pressure on himself anyway. He’s not a player that’s content, he’s a player that wants more,” Louie said. “Sometimes you want to do more. I think when you talk about second years and guys that get out of their usual habits, they think they need to do more because they want more. But in reality, do the things that make you successful. And that’s kind of what I said to him, I said ‘just pretend that you’re a rookie. Pretend that every day you go to the rink you’re still a first-year guy and you’ll be fine. Think about last year, what you did to get yourself through tough times and work harder. Make sure your attention to detail is there and work hard. And the offense will come. As long as you’re playing the right way, the offense is going to come.’”