Your Boston Bruins took home ice for the first time this season earlier tonight vs. the woeful Arizona Coyotes. It was a great way to get back at it after dispatching WAS in their season opener on Wednesday. The ‘Yotes are in full “Tank for Connor Bedard Mode” and have to start their season on the road (16 out of their first 20GP on the road), before going “home” to a
muni high school college rink that they are allowed to use when the Sun Devils aren’t having practice.
For those of us of a certain age, we all know how coyotes do on the road.
Tonight looked to be no different as the Bruins got out to an early lead when Pavel Zacha got his first as a Bruin on an early power play. The Bruins actually had 2 consecutive PP early in the game. First, former Bruin Nick Ritchie showed that he still has a knack for taking stupid penalties and then Troy Stecher followed him to the box. It was 2:32 into the game and the Coyotes had taken 2 penalties. The 2nd PP unit cashed in when Nick Foligno put a shot on net that caromed off the far post and popped right to Zacha in the slot.
The prettiest goal of the night came off the blade of Weymouth’s own Charlie Coyle. The play started with Trent Frederic planting a Coyote into the ARZ bench and gathering the loose puck in the neutral zone. Freddy carried into the ARZ zone and hit Coyle in stride at the top of the RW circle. Coyle drove the net and squeezed the puck up over Karel Vejmelka’s shoulder and under the bar. Bruins up by a pair and the crowd was feeling it.
Early in the second, Clayton Keller got his first of the year on the power play. Keller unloaded a one-timer from the RW circle that beat Jeremy Swayman back across going from his right to left. The bad news? ARZ has a good PP and they were back in this game. The good news? Keller is only 39G away from my preseason “hot take”. You can hear that and all kinds of nonsense on our weekly podcasts that you can find here.
The Bruins got back up by a pair when Foligno deflected a Connor Clifton shot across the goalmouth past Vejmelka. This was after successive PK’s by the Bruins and came as a direct result of Foligno and Tomas Nosek’s hard work on the wall and in the corner of the ARZ defensive zone. Cliffy’s shot was low and on net, and Foligno was money with the redirect.
Special teams continued to be hazardous for the Bruins tonight as Dylan Guenther broke in alone clean on Swayman. As we all know by now, Sway loves the shootout drill and he stoned Guenther on his bid. After holding a 12-4 SOG advantage after the first period, ARZ closed the gap at the end of 2 periods as they only trailed 19-18 in SOG. For those struggling with the math at home, ARZ outshot BOS 14-7 in the second. Methinks the Bruins took their foot off the gas just a bit in the middle stanza?
ARZ opened up the final period with a pair early on. First old friend Josh Brown dropped into the zone and cleaned up a goal mouth scramble over Swayman’s glove to make it 3-2 with just under 3 minutes played. Then Shayne Gostisbehere came in clean on a shorthanded breakaway (yes, you read that correctly) and beat Swayman 5-hole to tie up the game.
Derek Forbort ended up getting the GWG when he beat Vejmelka from the LW circle. Zacha corralled the puck with his skate and fed David Krejci up high at the blue line. Krejci worked the puck across to Forbort who walked down to almost directly on the RW dot before beating Vejmelka far side low inside the post.
AJ Greer got his first as a Bruin as he finished off a sweet cross-ice pass from Hampus Lindholm to tuck one under Vejmelka’s arm. It was from almost the exact same spot as Forbort’s wrister, but this time it was near side. Greer had an all-time celly as he kissed the spoked B on his sweater to the delight of the Black and Gold Faithful.
Greer added another late in the game when ARZ pulled Vejmelka for the extra attacker. Coyle gathered the puck in his own end before dekeing 2 ARZ players and sliding the puck to Greer for the ENG. Ladies and gentlemen, your leading goal scorer thus far this season is AJ Greer, absolutely no one had that pick, but let’s watch that celly again just for fun.
Up next for the Bruins they welcome in the new look Florida Panthers on Monday night.
- Great game from the bottom 6 forward group. Out of a possible 15 points tonight the breakdown was Top 6 group – 4pts, Bottom 6 group – 8pts, Defense – 3pts. That’s the type of scoring the Bruins will need while Marchand, McAvoy, Grzelcyk and now DeBrusk are out.
- Connor Clifton looked real good in all phases of the game tonight. Solid all around.
- I really like the Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – AJ Greer line tonight. Tough on the puck and were willing to bang with anyone. I always wondered what ever happened to the Bash Brothers from the Mighty Ducks. I guess they’re skating with Coyle now.
- Brandon Carlo did not return for the second after taking a wicked (but clean) hit along the wall. His head def snapped back and I’m concerned that it’s another concussion. At some point, he has to do what’s best for him long term.
- The second period lapse is concerning because against a better team, that will bite the Bruins. But, since it’s only game 2, I’m not gonna worry about it.
Good to see that Zack Kassian is still a donkey. He and Patrice Bergeron had a pretty good back and forth going for most of this game. Have to keep an eye on that when the B’s travel to ARZ
Nice to see the intro’s for the players and coaching staff. Biggest pops amongst the coaches were Cup Champ Chris Kelly and new HC Jim Montgomery. For the players, of course Krejci, David Pastrnak and Bergeron got the biggest ovations, but a nice buzz for Smith and Coyle too. Don’t know if you saw it, but when Brad Marchand came out for his intro, he tried to hold Charlie McAvoy’s hand on the carpet. Funny moment that is peak Marchand.
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