Swayman Loses: Still Deserves Calder/Vezina

The Bruins dropped a late matinee game to the Flyers 3-2 this afternoon in the City of Brotherly Love. Playing a 3rd consecutive game without Charlie McAvoy, the already battered Bruins back end took another hit when Matt Grzelcyk didn’t return after the 1st period. 

Jeremy Swayman suffered his first NHL loss as the Bruins hold on the 4th and final playoff spot narrows to 4 points over Philly. I mean did you think Swayman wasn’t going to lose a game? (Ok, hand up, I thought he wouldn’t,)  I mean in his first 3 starts he’s given up 1 goal that I’ll lay the blame on him. It just so happened to be the GWG today, but whatevs.

The Bruins shuffled the bottom 6 today in front of Swayman. Kuhlman and DeBrusk were Coyle’s wingers and Kuraly centered Wagner and Blidh. Miller and Grz were the top pair with Cliffy and Lauzon as the 2nd and Zboril and Kampfer as the 3rd pairing. How nice it is to have proven steady vets like Kampfer just hanging around. Guy doesn’t play for long stretches when everyone is healthy and then today goes 22 TOI as a +1 with 3 blocked shots. Have yourself a day Stevie. 

Bruins got on the board first with Marchand pressuring Gostisbehere WaiverWire behind the Philly net. With a stick lift right out of your beer league, Marchy stole the puck and found Smith in the RW circle. Smitty to Bergeron in the slot and he corralled it off his skate and went over the blocker for his 14thpoint in 8 games against the Flyers this year. Not sure, is that good? 

Konecny tied the game up when he was left all alone at the left post and he put in the Sanheim rebound. Apparently Cliffy saw something shiny during the play since he paid no attention to his man standing at the blue paint. Yikes. Konecny figured in the next goal late in the period as Gostisbehere redirected his point shot past Swayman to give the Flyers their 1st lead heading into intermission since March 15th.  Konecny is climbing the ranks in opponents I’d like to see take one in the teeth. He’s a good player, but kind of a scumbag too. Not at the level of a Wilson or a Lemieux since I don’t think he’s running around trying to end guys’ careers, but he plays to the edge for sure. 

The Bruins had chances to tie the game in the 2nd with multiple power plays, but the loss of Grz and no McAvoy made the unit look off kilter. Plenty of looks, but all on the perimeter. Cassidy opted for a 5 forward PP1, with Krecji/Pasta up top and Ritchie and Marchand down low and Bergy (where else) at the bumper spot. DeBrusk got the Bruins back to even when he finished off a beauty of a backhand pass from Smith to go over Elliot’s glove from the slot. Good to see DeBrusk get one, and hopefully the Ducks, Kings, and Predators all saw the “potential in a first round pick with a scorer’s touch”. Feel free to use that when speaking to other GM’s Donny. 

Cassidy also flopped Pastrnak and Smitty in the middle period. I’m not sure if it was to get Pasta going or a peepee whack to Smith? My guess is that it was to get Pastrnak going as he’s been near invisible playing with Krecji and Ritchie and even the Philly feed mentioned how Smith’s game has been on the uptick. Either way it only lasted for the last half of the period as Smith was back with Bergy and Marchand for the final frame. 

Couturier got the GWG when he capitalized on Swayman coming off his line aggressively to face Farabee in the slot. Farabee slid it over to Couturier on the RW and he got it under the glove of the diving Swayman to put Philly up for good. Yes, it was Swayman’s fault, but I’d rather have an aggressive goaltender than one that hugs his posts and sits behind the goal line.

They used to say Timmy was too aggressive and hey, that worked out alright.

The Bruins head home to take on the Caps tomorrow night at the TD Garden.

Plus/Minus

Plus:

  • Bruins controlled play for long periods of the game and were dominant at times.
  • I think Swayman is a legit player and all of sudden the B’s have an embarrassment of riches at the goaltending position.
  • Smith has picked up his play and looks like a top 6. Although, to be fair (to be faaaair) I might be able to get some tucks skating with Marchand and Bergeron.

Minus:

  • Dumb penalties. Lauzon and Clifton both bit on Konecny’s nonsense as he drew penalties from both of them. Be more like Miller, bide your time and put him through the boards.
  • Pastrnak’s production. Over the last 4 games he’s put up 2 assists and is a -2.
  • Grzelcyk out with the dreaded “upper body injury”. Can’t afford to keep losing D-men.

Game Notes:

Not sure what the Bruins’ brass is working on, but Taylor Hall is not the answer. He’s DeBrusk with a higher price tag. If you want to look at Buffalo, how about Colin Miller instead? Don’t mortgage the future for a rental. If you can’t get a guy with term on his contract after this season, then it’s a pure rental and no need to give anything of value back. All those players are depreciating assets on these teams that are out of the playoffs, don’t make a panic move.

Author: Brownie

Hockey fan/player from the greater Boston area.

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