Full disclaimer since I do possess a degree in Big J Journalism, I am a bit biased on this because we are both Quinnipiac grads, but it’s time for people to put some respect on Connor Clifton’s name.
With his all around game as an energy guy that’s not afraid to lay the wood and mix it up, not to mention his rocket of a slapshot, Clifton needs to be in the lineup every single night. Since he was inserted into the lineup by Cassidy in Game 3 (plus Halak taking over for Tuukka) the Bruins have looked like a more energetic team that’s playing with an edge.
Just look at last night’s 3rd period 4 goal explosion that all happened in just 6 minutes and 51 seconds; Clifton was making huge plays in every facet of the game.
My goodness. This is the start of the Clifton goal sequence. Clifton carries the puck, dumps it in, blows somebody up and then scores like 10 seconds later. pic.twitter.com/aE6doclScq
— crag janey (@DreamofJanney) August 18, 2020
And that was immediately followed by Clifton getting into position for a rocket to tie the game at 2 and really swing the momentum in the B’s favor.
— The 300s (@The300sBoston) August 18, 2020
Marchand followed that up just a minute later with a slick goal of his own, followed by a goal from Jake DeBrusk (2nd of the night) less than 3 minutes after that.
I’m not saying a third pairing defenseman has been the difference in this series, but I am saying Connor Clifton finished with a goal, an assist, was second on the team in hits with 3 (+ 5 in Game 3), and led the team in +/- at +2 last night. Not too shabby for Cliffy Hockey. There’s a reason the Bruins gave the QU grad a 3-year extension last summer with one year still left on his deal.
With their No. 1 goalie done for the season, Pastrnak’s return date a complete unknown, and an
old veteran laden team the B’s desperately need some energy and production from the young guys and Clifton has done just that.