Bruins' depth delivers once again

Matt Fraser is in that pile of players somewhere, we promise. The Bruins overtime hero in Game 4 is...

Matt Fraser is in that pile of players somewhere, we promise. The Bruins overtime hero in Game 4 is just the latest example of a young Boston player delivering on a big stage. (QMI Agency)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:59 AM ET

The burrito and frozen yogurt angle has elevated Matt Fraser from overtime hero to folk hero in Boston.

But look a little deeper and the third-line winger is just the latest unheralded player in the Bruins system to have an impact in the post-season. Fraser’s goal in the Bruins 1-0 win over the Canadiens on Thursday was still the talk of the town the next day, a story too good to let go.

And a familiar script for the Bruins.

A year ago, it was pint-sized defenceman Torey Krug who had four goals in five playoff games when promoted for the B’s second-round series against the New York Rangers. If they haven’t wiped it out of their memories, Leafs fans will recall callup Matt Bartkowski scoring the Bruins’ first goal early in the historic Game 7 comeback victory.

It speaks to the organizational depth of the team and in some ways, the keen eye of general manager Peter Chiarelli. Fraser came to the Bruins in the deal that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas and surely was thought of by some as a throw-in to the package going east that included Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson.

Fraser won’t be the key to a Bruins Cup this spring, of course, but Eriksson and Smith are playing an increasingly important role. And as much star power and talent as Seguin has, he only scored one goal in Boston’s lengthy post-season run a year ago.

Depending on how things play out, however, Fraser’s big goal could well be a turning point of the Bruins spring.

World Away

No confusing the Sochi Olympics with the world championships on so many levels, but there’s also no denying that Canada’s 3-2 loss to France on Friday in Belarus was among the country’s more embarrassing hockey moments.

Consider that in the previous two meetings in the tournament, Canada won by a combined score of 16-3 and this was just the second time the French have ever defeated the hockey powerhouse at the world championships. France finished 13th in last year’s tourney.

Leafs goalie James Reimer was in the net for the loss while former NHLer Cristobal Huet may be 38 years old, but was clearly the star for France.

“Canada is where hockey is,” French coach Dave Henderson told the IIHF website. “If you beat Canada, it’s a huge thing for French hockey.”

The world championship hasn’t exactly been a venue of success for Canada in recent years as they haven’t won gold since 2007 and have been shut of the medals since 2009. Next up for coach Dave Tippet’s squad is a Sunday date with Slovakia.

Quick Hits

From the crazy playoffs stats department: The Bruins and Habs may be tied at 2-2, but Boston has held a lead for just under 12 minutes through the first four games ... And another: When Chris Kreider opened the scoring for the Rangers Friday night, the Blueshirts power play “jumped” to a four-for-45 success rate these playoffs ... Fraser, by the way, became the first player to score an overtime playoff goal in both the NHL and AHL in the same year ... From the moment the playoffs started, the Bruins were the clear betting favourites to win the Stanley Cup. But after dropping two of the first three games to the Habs, they temporarily surrendered the title. According to Vegasinsider.com, the Bruins were back in the favoured position entering Friday’s play at odds of 9-4 followed by co-second choices Pittsburgh and Chicago, each at 3-1 ... The Rangers had just 15 shots in all of Game 3, but facing elimination in Game 4, had 17 in the first period alone ... Perhaps there was a rush by some to hand Marc Andre Fleury the Conn Smythe trophy after two shutouts against a hapless shooting Rangers team. His struggles Friday showed the other side of the Penguins goalie, the side that makes him difficult to be trusted in big games ... Hockey Night in Canada cameras caught a cool shot of Sidney Crosby arriving at the CONSOL Energy Center and offering his condolences to the Rangers’ Martin St. Louis, whose mother had died the day before.


MIKE ZEISBERGER BREAKS DOWN ALL 16 PLAYOFF TEAMS

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