Your Boston Bruins finished off their 3 game road trip in style, with a 7-1 complete dismantling of the Anaheim Ducks last night at The Honda Center. The B’s took a 6 out of 6 possible points on their West Coast swing with dubs coming over LAK, SJS and then the (not so mighty) Ducks.
With Jake DeBrusk back in Boston on LTIR, HC Jim Montgomery did some line-juggling last night and Walpole’s favorite son, Chris Wagner checked back into the lineup with the varsity. Wags has been a great leader in Providence and took the demotion to the AHL like a professional. Prior to puckdrop, Monty commented that it was Wagner’s professionalism, his familiarity with the system and his ability to contribute on the PK as reasons to why he got the call up. Not to mention that the Mayor of Walpole is universally loved by the boys in the room.
Up front you had Craig Smith on the wing opposite Brad Marchand with Patrice Bergeron which put the Czech-Mates back together again. Taylor Hall and Trent Frederic book-ended Charlie Coyle with Nick Foligno, Tomas Nosek and the aforementioned Wagner rounding out the forward lines. On the back end it was a homecoming of sorts for Hampus Lindholm as he was welcomed back with a video tribute from the team for whom he played over 500 games.
With Jeremy Swayman manning the pipes vs. John Gibson in net for ANA, the B’s fans wasted no time in taking over the ANA barn as the “Let’s Go Bruins” chants could be heard over the NESN feed from the opening draw. David Pastrnak got it going for the visitors with just under 4 mins played in the opening frame when he notched his 30th of the season. The Bruins were controlling in the ANA zone (a theme for most of this contest) when David Krejci found Pasta on the low to high feed at the top of the RW circle. Pasta’s one-timer beat Gibson under the glove for the early lead.
Just before midway through the period, the Czech-Mates got it going again except this time it was Pastrnak feeding Krejci (Pavel Zacha with apples on both goals). The clip below doesn’t show this, but this play initiated with a hard wrap from Brandon Carlo that Zacha controlled on the wall before giving to Pastrnak down into the corner. Pasta carried behind the net before dishing to Krejci for his shovel past Gibson. Up by a pair and that’s your gamewinner.
Trevor Zegras finished off a Ryan Strome feed from behind the Bruins net to put a one-timer past Swayman, but that was all the Ducks had as the young netminder has seemed to regain his form as of late. I know a bunch of “experts” on social media have been calling for Swayman’s head, but he’s been solid when called upon and has bounced back from every bump in the road that’s been presented, so please go back to your Mom’s basement and STFU.
Also maybe a lesson learned by Zegras after his goal? Apparently after he scored, he called Trent Frederic a “fucking bitch” on his way to celebrate with his ANA teammates. A number of Bruins took exception and confirmed his chirp was a motivating factor in keeping their collective foot on the gas for the rest of the game. Pretty much the embodiment of fuck around and find out, huh Trevor?
I shouldn’t have poked the Bear
In the second, the Bruins completely took over the game with puck possession and zone-time. The physicality ramped up as Gibson (believe it or not) actually kept the Ducks in this for a bit, that is until the B’s blew it open just past midway in the period. After a trip was actually called on Brad Marchand (you read that correctly, Marchand was not called for a tripping penalty, someone tripped him and THEY were actually called), the Bruins cashed in on the ensuing power play. Pastrnak put one on net from the top of the LW circle and then his own rebound popped to him in the high slot to bury over the glove far side. Just 17 seconds later, Matt Grzelcyk sent Pasta in alone on Gibson and… you knew what was going to happen right? Pasta’s 13th career regular season hat trick and this one was all over. Watch the lower clip and see how Pastrnak freezes Gibson with the subtle way he opens up his blade? Not sure why that doesn’t work for me when I do it in beer league.
To open the third, it was a bit of a shocker to see Gibson still in net, but the Bruins certainly weren’t complaining. It started to get ugly and the Ducks had no push back at all. First up was Marchand and Frederic on a 2:1 breakaway when Marchand fed some sweet sauce to Freddy that wouldn’t sit for him and his shot went wide. Marchand stayed on his horse and wrapped the puck home while Gibson was still looking for the original shot. Maybe Gibson was trying to slide all the way to the bench on this play? Still unclear.
Then Hampus Lindholm scored from what Homeboy Jack called “an impossible angle” while Brick deadpanned “wasn’t impossible for him”. Gotta love those guys on the game calls. You could tell that Lindholm wanted one tonight as he dropped in on offense a number of times. This one was from below the LW face-off circle and he put it under the crossbar for his 5th goal and 28th point of the campaign.
And just when you thought it was safe for the Ducks, Charlie Coyle entered the chat. Coyle almost looked embarrassed at the goal during the celebration afterwards. His face seemed to say “Oh man I can’t believe that worked.” Coyle walked down the LW and drove the net with the puck on his backhand. He made a move as if he was going behind the cage and when Gibson looked over his shoulder to track the puck, Coyle tucked it near side for the touchdown.
The Bruins fly back East with a few days off before they welcome in the Kraken on Thursday. Stay on the lookout for a HUGE podcast to drop later this week as we have a lot to talk about.
Nothing like a West Coast Huggy Bear sighting.
Great quote from Jim Montgomery in the post game media availability:
“He’s like an artist, the different ways he score. Everyone talks about the one-timers, but he scores off his front foot, his back foot, backhands, fakes. I would have broken my ankles if I was on the net for that breakaway one.”
Play the music (I think there were enough Bruins fans in the building to play Dirty Water)
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28