Tonight your Boston Bruins hosted the
entertaining surprising exciting overmatched Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden in a Original Six matchup. Unbeknownst to the Wings it was also the season premiere of The Patrice Bergeron Show as The Captain had 4 tucks to pace the Black and Gold to an uneventful 5-1 victory.
The B’s had Jeremy Swayman manning the pipes up against the well-traveled Thomas Griess in net for Detroit. Up front it was what seems to be Bruce Cassidy’s preferred lineup: The Erection Line – The Coyle Line – The Huala Line and Hal’s favorite: The Nosek Line. On the back end it was Derek Forbort and Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo with Matt Grzelcyk and Mike Reilly riding with Connor Clifton. It will be interesting to see when Nick Foligno comes back (still listed as week to week), who gets a seat but that’s a discussion for another day.
Now Dear Reader, you know that I’m not one for hyperbole, so believe me when I say that this might have been the Bruins most complete game of this young season. Solid defense that kept all of Detroit’s attack zonetime on the perimeter. A dogged fore-check that led to many turnovers and drew at least 2 penalties. Solid goaltending when called upon and oh yeah, the power play woke up. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished with 5 days off and plenty of practice time.
Detroit plays a lot like the Bruins do. A team wide commitment to defense, good passing and defense that move the puck, and they absolutely swarm the puck. The biggest difference (besides their best player being out the last 2 games) is their youth and inexperience. This team is being built the right way and with a definite Yzer-plan in mind. If you’ve been listening to the podcast you’ve heard us talking about the Red Wings and tonight was a good measuring stick game for the Bruins.
The Bruins got it going midway through the first when Bergy cashed in on the PP. Vlad Namestnikov with an all-time selfish penalty when he got his bucket popped off and instead of skating to the bench without interrupting the play, he decided to put a soft check on Curtis Lazar in front of the Bruins bench. The hit did nothing but put the B’s on the man advantage, just a dumb play. Bergeron won the faceoff at the RW dot cleanly back to McAvoy at the point. McAvoy walked the line to his left and found Brad Marchand (4 apples on the night, not a big deal) down low on the wing. Marchy one touched the puck to Bergy who had circled back up high by the hash marks: a one-timer over the blocker and away we go.
In the second with the B’s still up by a goal a wild play decided the game. Todd Bertuzzi picked McAvoy’s pocket at the Bruins blue line and broke in with Lucas Raymond 2 on 1 against Chuckie Bright Lights. As McAvoy was trying to get position on Raymond, Bertuzzi chopped McAvoy’s stick out of his hand. Power play Bruins. Another dumb penalty, and when the B’s power play is clicking, you gotta stay out of the box. David Pastrnak kept the puck in on the LW wall and Taylor Hall dug it out of a scrum behind the net to rim around to Marchand. Without taking a look, Marchy found Bergy at the RW circle and hit repeat: a one-timer over the blocker for what turned out to be the game winner.
Not to be overlooked in this one, but Swayman stepped up big in what turned out to be a quiet night for the young net minder. With the B’s up by a goal late in the period, Raymond had Swayman dead to rights from the RW circle. Bertuzzi found Raymond with a blind backhand and he was all alone in front of Swayman looking high glove side. Swayman somehow beat him across and made the save with his glove then shoulder. If Raymond scored there, the whole tone of the game would have changed. Huge save for the rookie.
For the natural hat trick, Bergy was back in the bumper position when who else? Marchand found him for another one blocker side: And the heavens opened up as the chapeaus rained down upon us. This one was more of a catch and release than a one-timer, but they don’t ask how – just how many. As Homeboy Jack likes to say: Triangles all over the ice. When the Bruins power play is clicking it’s a constant barrage of angles and seams, it is truly beautiful hockey.
Into the final frame we go, with the Bruins carrying a 26-9 shot advantage. The Wings were already on the power play thanks to a Pasta high stick when Bergy was whistled for tripping giving Detroit over a minute of 5 on 3 play. They didn’t need that much as Raymond cashed in on a back door seam pass that Sway had no chance on. Detroit worked the overload perfectly to set up the goal, and were they going to climb back into this game?
Nah. Just 20 seconds later Reilly got his first of the season and his first as a Bruin. Tomas Nosek sent Curtis Lazar away shorthanded with a beauty of an outlet pass that was tape to tape at the red line. Lazar drove the Detroit net with Reilly following the play. Coming left to right across the goalmouth Lazar tried to stuff the puck 5-hole but Griess locked the door. The puck froze in the blue paint and Reilly tucked it upstairs to get the Bruins back up by 3 with just under 12 minutes left to play.
You don’t think he can only score on the power play do you? Hell to the no. With just about 5 minutes left to play Reilly drove the Wings zone and dropped the puck to Marchand at the blue line. Marchy went LW circle to RW circle and found Bergy on the tape where he beat Griess (this time over the glove) for his 4th of the night. Cue the music, Bruins with the W.
Up next for the Black and Gold is a trip to the Hall of Heimlichs, the Cavern of Choke, The Gag Garden: That’s right you guessed it – Toronto.
- I said it already, the Bruins most complete game of the season
- The power play was clicking
- The Bruins played physical all over the ice and employed the 2 man forecheck (big fan)
- Jake DeBrusk laying it out there with a big block late in the 2nd. Labored off the ice and went straight down the tunnel. A little pain management and never missed a shift.
- No minus. I’ve said it now 3x – The most… complete… game… of the… season
- Tonight marks the 100th game of Cliffy Hockey – Congrats
- Marchand lifetime is 15G-21A-36Pts in 32 career games vs DET. Is that good?
- Jeremy Swayman has a perfect career record at the TD Garden. He’s never lost at home. Also my computer spell checks his name to “Swag Man” which is kinda sick.
- Not only did he have 4 cookies for the 2nd time in his career, but Bergy also was 16-18 at the faceoff dot tonight. Is THAT good?
Goalie Toast to end the night!!