Chris Kelly Finds His Game At The Perfect Time

As Saturday night wore on and early Sunday morning loomed, the Army Ranger Player of the Game Jacket was passed on from Adam McQuaid to Chris Kelly. When Game 2 began, Chris Kelly had not scored a goal since April 17th of this season. It had been a long streak of 23 games in which Kelly had not tallied a goal. As the first game against the Blackhawks concluded, Kelly had posted a -3 stat beside his name.

In between games, he knew that something needed to change. He understood what was being asked of him and knew that he had to be confident moving forward. The 32 year old, looked at the positives and remained calm. He approached Game 2, confidently knowing that it was about time for him to step it up. It was a long drought for any forward to go through without scoring goals, and Kelly seemed to pick the perfect time to snap out of his funk.

Kelly fought for many ways to contribute on the ice for the Bruins. During the first period of game 2, he and the other Bruins experienced a rough start to say the least. The Bruins weren’t skating very well, and Chicago was able to strike first. During the first period of play, Chicago dominated and controlled the puck. Tuukka Rask stood on his head for the team once again, and was able to keep the Bruins within one goal.

The mindset of Chris Kelly and the team seemed to change in between periods. They knew they had to play better if they wanted a chance to win. The Bruins played a much better second period, and an even better third. They stepped up their physical game, and were able to get control of the puck in their zone more. The overtime was perhaps the greatest “period” of the game for the Bruins on Saturday night. After Kelly scored with 5:02 left in the second period, momentum seemed to shift in favor of the Bruins. It was all thanks to Chris Kelly’s goal.

There could not have been a better time for Chris Kelly to break out of his funk. Through the 23 games in which Kelly did not score a goal, he was patient. He found ways to contribute for the Bruins such as killing penalties and blocking shots. Chris Kelly has acted as a leader for his team on and off the ice in these ways. He has shown up to practices, put in the work that he has needed to, and worked hard. His persistence and perseverance finally paid off, as his play came together and he was able to score.

Chris Kelly was able to find his game after Coach Claude Julien switched up the lines. He was paired with Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin. The three not only were able to come together for the tying goal of the game, but they also combined for the winning goal as Paille scored in overtime.

Kelly’s goal in the second period, ignited the Bruins. It gave them the spark that they needed to come alive once more. They stepped up their game after the goal, when they saw what Chris Kelly had done. He erased the deficit, and carried the team forward. It was the perfect time for the forward to find his game.

The timing was perfect, because he encouraged the rest of his teammates to play like he was playing. He came forward, knowing he had to contribute.  This is one of the aspects that make the Bruins such a good team. The team is not made up of one or two guys with famous well known names, it is made up of a group of players who have the ability to mesh incredibly well together and come together as a team. Players find their chances to fight through the scoring droughts to produce in other ways. They step up their play, and are able to make plays that matter and the ones that lead to big goals like Kelly’s.

Chris Kelly led his team forward for Game 2. He helped show the Bruins, that although you are not scoring goals all the time, that there are other important ways to contribute to the team. Through hard work and determination, Kelly’s play came together and he was able to produce a timely goal that totally shifted the mindset of the team. They came forward, played well, and beat Chicago.

Rachel Murphy – NHL Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

Follow along with Rachel on Twitter: @rembostonsports

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