Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes came into Sunday’s game against the Lightning having struggled to find any offense in nearly half a season, but the dam finally broke as he scored his first goal since late February.
Bruins play-by-play voice Jack Edwards called it a “biblical drought,” and it’s hard to argue that Jimmy Hayes’ goalless drought was starting to enter into some mythical territory.
Entering into Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Hayes hadn’t lit the lamp since Feb. 24, a span of 35 games. He had taken 57 shots over that span, played more than 400 minutes and had a number of opportunities, but Hayes hadn’t been able to break a painstakingly long scoring drought. Or at least that was the case up until late in the second frame of Sunday’s meeting with the Lightning.
Hayes was cutting through the neutral zone with less than three minutes left in the second period when he reached back to slide a puck to David Krejci, who cut down the left wing and backhanded a puck towards the net. With Hayes driving hard, he stuck his stick out, got a piece of his blade on the Krejci shot and deflected the puck perfectly, up and over the shoulder of Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.
Hayes then proceeded to pitch the imaginary monkey off of his back and up into outer-space:
If you watch Hayes fly by the bench in celebration, you can also catch David Backes pull whatever was apparently remaining of the aforementioned invisible monkey off of Hayes’ back and pitch it into the stands. Sure seems like Hayes’ teammates were pleased that the 27-year-old was finally able to end his drought.
Maybe Hayes’ goal can finally break the dam for the winger, because his inability to break through and find the score sheet with any consistency has been a headache in Boston.
Earning $2.3-million this season and next, Hayes hasn’t lived up to near the promise the Bruins had for him. All told, he’s scored 14 goals and 30 points in 95 games with the Bruins, while Reilly Smith, who was traded for Hayes along with the contract of injured Marc Savard, has netted 29 goals and 57 points in 104 games for the Florida Panthers.
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