Winnin’ Up in Buffalo, Swayman is Again the Hero..

The Bruins are still working that apple orchard in Western NY and have been picking all the low hanging fruit 2 points at a time. For the 2nd time in 3 nights the B’s get the W against the Sabres with a resounding 5-1 final. That’s the longest winning streak of the year at 6 straight and former Sabres Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar must think they’ve hit the lottery.

Rookie sensation and mortal lock for the Calder and Vezina; Jeremy Swayman got the start in net with Jaro Halak backing him up. The lines remained the same as the last tilt, with the only change being Stevie Kampfer slotted in for healthy scratch Jakob Zboril. The 1st got off to a slow start with both teams looking sluggish from the opening face. Marchand had the only goal of the period when he gathered in a Reilly rebound at the right post and put it past the diving Tokarski to give the B’s an early 1-0 lead. Couple of scary moments in the 1st for the B’s as both McAvoy and Bergeron headed down the tunnel after shot blocks. Luckily both came back with no apparent hindrances, and the New England region breathed a collective sigh of relief. 

In the 2nd Ruotsalainen tied the game up off a feed from old friend Anders Bjork as Kuraly coughed the puck up in the Bruins end. Swayman didn’t have a chance on the play, it wasn’t like it was a wrist shot from 25 feet without a screen. I mean a goal like that would be demoralizing and send the team into a tailspin for the rest of the game.

Oh yeah, I’m talking to you Tokarski, you gift-wrapping son of a bitch.

Originally tweeted by Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) on April 23, 2021.

Grzelcyk with the wrister from the right point and somehow it goes under the glove to eventually be the game winner. I mean, that’s the softest goal I’ve seen outside of a beer league game. As Brick said on the NESN feed, “that was an absolute gift”. The play for the rest of the period ran sloppy as there was a steady stream of Bruins to the box. I guess it works out that since there’s no time for practice, they get to work on their special teams against a pretty good AHL team the Buffalo Sabres.

The Bruins dialed it in for the 3rd period as they pumped in 3 goals to put the game away. Up first was Pastrnak who walked across the high slot where he flipped the puck to himself (seriously, see the video) and went over the blocker for his 18th of the year. Less than 2 minutes later Big Dick Nick got his first in 13 games off a DeBrusk feed (not a typo), when he put one under Tokarski’s armpit and it was all over except for the clock. Krecji got on the scoresheet when a Lauzon drive was tipped by Smith in front and went off the post and bounced right to Krecji at the right post to close out the scoring for the night. 

Absolute Filth

Originally tweeted by Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) on April 23, 2021.

As good as it was to get scoring from a number of lines, the Bruins still were sloppy with the puck and Swayman (in my mind) deserved 3rd star. Asplund walked in alone late and Swayman not only stopped his 1st shot, but also his rebound; and then Skinner missed by the slightest margin as Swayman reached back and pulled it out right before it leaked over the line. They played against an inferior team, and the B’s should’ve locked this up much earlier than they did. 

The teams face off again in less than 24 hours. Cassidy has said that Tuukka will start tomorrow night and that Miller is back in. Who comes out? Probably Kampfer and I’ve heard that Freddie is ready to go, so maybe DeBrusk? We’ll see you at 7 bells.

Same bat-time..Same bat-channel 

Plus/Minus

Plus:

  • PK – Swayman was the best penalty killer, but the B’s are rocking the #1 unit in the NHL
  • Secondary Scoring – both the Krecji line and the Coyle line got on the scoresheet
  • B’s are starting to click at the right time as 4 points currently separate them from the East leading Caps. It’s going to be a sprint for playoff positioning over the next few weeks.

Minus:

  • PP – no entry, no setup and looked very disjointed. I mean they won the Cup in 2011 with a non-existent power play but sure makes it harder.
  • Mental errors – if the refs are calling it tight, you have to clean it up. More discipline please.
  • Playing this dumpster fire team can create bad habits, glad they have 2 against the Pens coming up this week.

Game Notes:

  • Charlie Coyle recorded his 300th career point tonight
  • I missed the last game when Brad Marchand recorded his 700th career point, becoming only the 9th Bruins to achieve that threshold. Who are the others you ask? You may have heard of these guys: Krecji, Cashman, Orr, Middleton, Bergeron, Esposito, Bucyk, Bourque.
  • This season, 4 different goalies have recorded wins vs. Buffalohno. Thanks for coming out.

On a personal note: In the wake of the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial, a number of teams in the NHL (and in other professional sports leagues) put out statements in support of the struggle for racial equality. I sincerely wish that the Bruins’ team accounts had done the same.

Author: Brownie

Hockey fan/player from the greater Boston area.

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