Pasta Al-Fresco

With the eyes of the hockey world upon them, the Bruins and Flyers headed back to the roots of the game and played on an exclusive golf course at a luxury resort a beautiful ODR next to Lake Tahoe. Coming off 2 losses in a row, the Bruins needed to get a full squad, full game effort and luckily, the Flyers were happy to help. I would think nothing gets your mojo back quicker than shit-pumping the Flyers on national television. 

No Grzelcyk, Miller or Zboril on the back end, so Clifton and Moore were in and Vaakanainen makes his season debut alongside Carlo. Krejci also stayed home, so up front the middle six got shuffled.  Ritchie and Smith rode shotgun for Coyle on the 2nd line while Cassidy put together a young guns’ line of DeBrusk-Studnicka-Bjork. Rask was back in the pipes, although Halak won the day by coming out for pregame skate with the best flow of the weekend. https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/1363642751242407938?s=20

The Bruins jumped out to an early lead, with the Erection Line getting things going in the first minute. Bergeron fed Marchand up the wall who found Pastrnak through the glare on the opposite wing: 1-0 Bruins. The Flyers tied it up when a bad bounce off the end wall winds up on Farabee’s stick in the slot and he puts it 5-hole. As surprised as Rask was on the play, Farabee looked even more so. Tough break (literally) for McAvoy late in the first as he breaks his stick and then almost gets decapitated trying to get one on the fly from the bench. McAvoy and Vaakanainen then get caught down low 3 on 2 with no chance as McAvoy was still twigless. 2-1 Flyers. Sweet redemption was found less than a minute later as McAvoy tied it up with a slapper from the right point, no stick issues on that one. 

In the second with the sun mercifully set, the pace of play definitely picked up. The Flyers seemed as if they were trying to emulate the Devils and Islanders with the 2 man aggressive forecheck; but tonight the Bruins were able to counter with quick first reads out of their zone and the forwards were back further to help with outlet passes. Once the tempo picked up the Bruins seemed to settle in and take over the game (15-3 shot advantage in the 2nd). Pasta got his second less than a minute into the period and then the Bruins scored 3 within 2 minutes to put the game out of reach. Secondary scoring? Here you go: Coyle, Ritchie (on the PP) and Frederic all scored, with Freddie getting his career first. Gotta be a great moment for the rookie, getting your first on the outdoor big stage.

The 3rd period saw Carter Hart chased from the Philly net and just the 2nd hat trick in the outdoor games’ history. I mean you knew Pasta was going to get it right? A great feed from Studnicka found Pasta in the Ovi circle to complete the hattie. Was hoping to see Blades toss Gritty’s bucket out there to honor Pasta but no dice. The Bruins get the 2 and open up their lead on the 2nd place Capitals. The Flyers were definitely playing without some of their biggest guns (Giroux, Voracek to name a few), but the B’s put forth an entire team effort tonight and did it with only 5 defenseman as Lauzon only played one shift before exiting with the dreaded UBI.

Plus/Minus:

Plus:

  • Anders Bjork – I know he took 2 penalties. I think he got chicken winged on the first one, so I’m only blaming him on the 2nd. He played great tonight. At one point late in the 2nd he broke his stick and got the puck out of the B’s end with his skates; the kid worked it up the wall soccer style. Then while going for the change, instead of just going through the door, this beauty decided to play the body at the bench making a solid defensive play. I think I’m getting a little Bjorkie in my shorts.
  • Bruins D corp – with Lauzon going down, each Bruin D-man averaged over 22 TOI and didn’t look out of place. Actually, I thought they all had jump late in the game.
  • Penalty kill – yes the Flyers got one on the PP, but it was off Vaakkanainen’s skate. I’m not blaming anyone on that one. Once again the B’s got multiple chances shorthanded and looked in control

Minus:

  • Power play – If the first unit doesn’t get it, it’s not happening. The Bruins had 3 power plays tonight and the 2nd unit didn’t even get set up. I know they have less time, but they’re not even getting into the zone with possession.
  • Dumb penalties – even if you have the best PK in the game (they do) you can’t keep giving power plays away
  • That’s it. Only 2 tonight: I thought they showed jump and played well.

Game Notes:

  • Bergeron is now tied for 5th all time Bruins for points (with Bobby Orr, ever heard of him?)
  • Tuukka is now 2 wins away from 300 career.
  • The Bruins came to the ODR in late 80’s/early90’s day-glo ski douchewear. Pretty funny visuals. John Moore commented that it was fun, but he couldn’t see wearing it on the reg. I mean look at these beauties. In case you were wondering: that fanny pack is for Bergy’s extra swag, ya he’s got that much.

Author: Brownie

Hockey fan/player from the greater Boston area.

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