Your Boston Bruins welcomed in the
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Ducks for their only regular season visit to the TD Garden. The Ducks were coming off a dismantling of the Lightning and looking to get their 5 game road trip started right; meanwhile the Bruins wanted to finish their homestand with a W before heading out for a 3 game roadie of their own. The Bruins ended up on the short end of this one 5-3 and believe me, it wasn’t as close as that final score makes it seem.
The B’s were static throughout the lineup with the only change being Mike Reilly getting out of the NHL COVID Protocol and giving Matt Grzelcyk the night off. Tuukka Rask was in net for the B’s making his 2nd consecutive start since re-joining the team; and 178 feet away, John Gibson manned the pipes for the Ducks.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Bruins came out flat in the opening period and were lucky to head to intermission down a goal. Maybe Butchie should start telling the boys that puck drop is at 6pm? Get them out there early? You think we could convince Todd Angilly to sing the anthem twice? The Bruins were outskated and outhustled throughout the first 20 minutes. It probably doesn’t help to go on the penalty kill 40 seconds into the game. Kind of makes it tough to get into a rhythm I would bet.
There was a great example of not taking plays off during this PK that I’m sure was appreciated by the guys on the bench, even if 99% of the people watching missed it. Don’t worry Dear Reader, Old Brownie is here to point out this type of shit for you. Brad Marchand was the lead fore checker during the PK and lost an edge behind the ANA net and the Ducks pushed the pace up the ice looking for even more of an odd man advantage. Patrice Bergeron (4 Selke Trophies and counting) realized that Marchand was caught deep and met the ANA puck carrier at his own blue line taking the body to free up the puck. Bergy went down and as he was falling to the ice, broke out the old time sweep check to further stymy the ANA attack. Meanwhile, Marchand was busting ass back into the play and was able to intercept the pass going through the high slot which would have led to an early scoring attempt. Great hustle, great awareness and an overall great hockey play that won’t show up on any score sheet. That’s leadership.
Later in the 1st, Oskar Steen got called (rightfully) for a boarding major that then got reviewed and inexplicably changed to a 2 minute minor. You know it was bad when even Homeboy Jack thought it should have stayed a major. During the ensuing power play, ANA got their first lead of the game when Derek Grant got a piece of Ryan Getzlaf’s clapper ticking it up over Rask’s blocker.
To open the middle stanza, the Bruins were on the power play with a clean sheet as Trevor Zegras was whistled off for slashing just 17 seconds in. The Bruins were looking to even things up until they let in the softest shorthanded goal you’ve even seen.
I mean, that’s leakier than an old birthday balloon. I get it that Isac Lundestrom is leading the NHL in shorties this season, but that’s soft as puppy poo.
The Bruins got one back as Tomas Nosek put one on a platter for David Pastrnak to tee up. Nosek drove up ice from the RW circle in the Duck’s zone and went cross-ice for Pasta on the one-timer. Pasta ripped it short side over the blocker and the B’s had a pulse.
For about 4 minutes. Then the Bruins insistence on sloppy coverage and letting the Ducks waltz through the neutral zone led to Getzlaf extending the lead once again. Getzlaf walked Pastrnak on the LW and watch how how he waits for Brandon Carlo to go down before he puts it over Rask’s shoulder through the screen. Getzlaf is still filthy.
With less than 5 minutes left in the period, Taylor Hall got one back for the good guys on the power play. With Nick Foligno being done for the night (UBI – could have been in the tilt he had with Sam Carrick, could have been when John Gibson fed him some blocker during a TV timeout, could have been him shaking his head at Jake DeBrusk’s lackluster effort again. Lots of possibilities), Hall slotted back in on PP1 and looked right at home. Marchand walked down the RW and attacked the net from the circle drawing a defender. Hall established his spot in the paint and boxed out Kevin Shattenkirk on the doorstep to redirect one past Gibson. Brick pointed out on the NESN feed that Shattenkirk was at the disadvantage by being a right shot in that instance, you gotta love that kind of insight.
Troy Terry got his 23rd of the year when his curl drag snap shot beat Rask blocker side to put the Ducks back up by a pair. Cam Fowler sent Terry away with a high lob pass into the Bruins end and he carried until Charlie McAvoy challenged and then let it rip far side over the blocker.
To rub a little salt in the wound Greg Pateryn got his 1st of the year (and his first in 44GP) when he blew one past Rask from the top of the RW circle. That shot was a bomb and Rask had no chance.
Erik Haula gave the Bruins a little late game hope when after an extended shift in the Ducks’ zone he converted a Reilly feed to beat Gibson. Reilly dropped down the LW wall and went behind the back to Haula in the slot coming from the weak side. Haula got off his shot while being dragged down and beat Gibson glove side to wrap up the scoring for the Bruins.
The B’s managed to get Tuukka out of net with around 3 minutes left to get back in this one, but it was too little too late. They finally had jump for the 3rd period and were winning foot races, but the damage was already done. It doesn’t get any easier for our heroes as they head out for a nationally televised game vs. the Avs on Wednesday.
- Urho Vaakanainen continues to impress with his poise and play. You can see the confidence he has enabling him to try more plays. He was out on an early PK and toe-dragged the puck away from Getzlaf before clearing it, love to see it.
- I did like the push back by the Bruins in the 3rd. They weren’t ready to roll over and show their bellies without a fight, I just wish they’d start the games on time. Maybe some West Coast starts will do them some good.
- Tuukka Rask didn’t have his best game, and I’m sure he’s saying so right now on the postgame. He’s playing in his 4th game since surgery, calm down.
- As mush as I love David Pastrnak out there offensively, can we please petition Butchie to not have him as the last man back or even at the top of the offensive zone?
- Speaking of Pastrnak, tonight he notched his 20th goal of the season making it his 6th straight year doing so. Please Brownie, what Bruins have also achieved that level of offensive wizardry? Johnny Bucyk did it 10 seasons, Rick Middleton and Brad Marchand for 9 seasons, Phil Esposito and Patrice Bergeron for 8 seasons and Peter McNab and Bobby Orr did it for 7 consecutive seasons. Pretty good company.
- Nick Foligno and John Gibson have some history. The payback for this came tonight during a TV timeout when Gibson (while skating to his bench) gave a bit of blocker to the back of Foligno’s bucket. The first video is from 2017 and the second is from tonight.