Your Boston Bruins rolled into Philly on a short road trip and it looked like they missed their wake up call at the team hotel. Sloppy play and a lackadaisical effort undermined the Black and Gold as they got doubled up by the Flyers 6-3 at the Wells Fargo Center in their 2nd game of this young season.
Bruce Cassidy rolled the same lineup as last game including Jeremy Swayman between the pipes. While the forward lines remained static, he did juggle his defensive pairings throughout the game. The BU Boys Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy were together for the whole 60 as the top pair; but the other 4 were mixed and matched throughout. The B’s came out for the 1st half of the opening frame dominating on the stat sheet with zonetime and SOG. Unfortunately, that don’t mean shit in the long run as the Flyers got on the board first. A bad puck bounce on a Derek Forbort pinch sent Joel Farrabee and Cam Atkinson away on a 2 on 1 against Connor Clifton. Atkinson faked the pass (with the leg kick and all) and trickled one 5-hole on Swayman. 1-0 Flyers and we’re off and running.
Karson Kuhlman tied it up late in the first after an aggressive fore-check led to a turnover deep in the Flyers zone. The puck was worked to Trent Frederic in the slot and after his shot deflected off a Flyers skate, the puck found Kuhlman at the left post to even things up.
The Flyers weren’t done yet as Farrabee got his cookie with 9 seconds left in the period. Ryan Ellis walked the Boston blue line on the power play and waited for traffic in front of Swayman to materialize. After a nifty give and go with Derek Brassard his rebound eluded Swayman’s cover and Farrabee tucked it in to send the Flyers to the room with the lead. Tough rebound to give up, but a hell of a play by Ellis up high.
Early in the 2nd period with a fresh sheet, The Sonkdaddy Keith Yandle used the Bruins own “icing play” against them as he found James Van Riemsdyk off the end wall behind Swayman. JVR’s rebound went to Scott Laughton in the slot (with Jake DeBrusk gliding on the back check) and the Flyers scored 2 within 2:12 of game play. McAvoy showed off his own playmaking ability midway through the period as he sent Taylor Hall away for his 1st of the year. McAvoy gathered the puck at the right circle in the Bruins’ end and hit Hall on his tape at center ice. Hall walked in ahead of the Philly D and with a quick backhand forehand he beat Martin Jones over the glove.
Brad Marchand tied it up at 3 when he converted a David Pastrnak wraparound attempt for his 3rd goal in 2 games (on his current pace that works out to 123 goals this season). Off a faceoff win in the Flyers zone, McAvoy dropped down the RW wall and threw a shot on net after circling the cage; Pasta picked up the rebound and attempted a wrap but the puck squirted across the goalmouth to Marchy at the right post. Over the glove, tie game. Smart play by Butchie to put out the Erection Line off an icing call late in the period: Coaching matters.
The 3rd got ugly quickly. In the opening minute Reilly served up a pizza at the red line and sent who else, Farrabee and Atkinson, away on yet another 2 on 1 that Atkinson finished for his 2nd of the night to put the Flyers up for good. Midway through the 3rd, Travis Konecny beat Swayman from the high slot over the glove after a bouncing puck got away from Reilly and this is one I’m guessing Sway would have liked back. There was a partial screen, but on the replay it looked like he had a clear view of the puck the whole way. Unfortunately, the B’s attempt at a comeback was foiled when Sean Couturier scored a rare power play empty netter (that’s a PPENG for those scoring at home) when Carlo got whistled off for roughing and the Bruins still pulled Swayman?
Again, as I said on the pod with Ked; we’re 2 games into this so let’s keep calm. The Bruins looked sloppy and I’m sure it will tighten up with game play. On to white-hot undefeated (checks notes, yep undefeated) Buffalo on Friday.
- The Merlot Line was buzzing. Hard on the forecheck and impacted the game. Kuhlman, Frederic and Tomas Nosek were the only forwards to end up + on the night.
- The Bruins controlled the puck for long stretches and had good cycle and wall work.
- The defense was activated all night and pushed the pace from the back end. Love that kind of hockey.
- Too much time on the perimeter. The Bruins had trouble getting that wall work towards the middle of the ice and converting to scoring opportunities.
- The defense looked choppy and they were fighting the puck on multiple occasions. Maybe the ice was choppy, but Philly didn’t seem to have the same issues.
- Nick Foligno left the game in the middle of the 2nd period with the dreaded UBI. He was looking good too, hopefully he’s okay and back soon.
- In his 12th career start, tonight is the 1st time Swayman has given up more than 3 goals
- The Flyers goalie, Martin Jones was a Bruin (on paper) for 4 days back in Dec 2015. Milan Lucic was sent to the LA Kings in exchange for Martin Jones, Colin Miller and the 13th round pick in the draft. Jones never suited up for Boston as he was sent to San Jose a few days later for Sean Kuraly and another first round pick.
- Gotta love the insight from Biz on the TNT broadcast