Your Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers for a matinee Monday tilt at the TD Garden this afternoon. The Flyers came into this one winning their previous 3 games and notching 7W in their last 8GP. Could this trend continue against the best team in the NHL playing at home? Nope. It took the Bruins about 5mins of game play to get their legs going and then it was lights out for the visitors as the B’s dummied the Flyers in front of the Black and Gold Faithful by a 6-0 final score.
Today was David Krejci‘s 1000th GP for the Boston Bruins, making him 7th on the all-time Bruins’ list. Krecji is and always will be, an understated performer on the ice. Quietly doing his job, not flashy or astounding anyone with his highlight reel goals; but if you watch the Bruins play, you understand his importance to the team and his impact on the players around him. NESN will be airing a tribute to Krejci on Jan 25th, and I humbly suggest you set your DVR.
Back to the game. As I said above, the Bruins were sleepwalking through the opening few shifts and the Flyers were pushing the pace and getting the better chances. The Bruins didn’t register a SOG until nearly the 4min mark, but then they woke up. David Pastrnak got his first of the afternoon when he tapped in a Pavel Zacha feed on the doorstep (it was the Bruins 2nd SOG). The play was started by Krejci back in the neutral zone (of course it was), he gained the offensive zone and then froze the PHI defenders with a lateral move before dishing a saucer pass to Zacha dropping down the LW. Zacha drove the bottom of the circle as Pasta came along the goal line for the tap-in past Carter Hart. And that ladies and gentlemen, is your game winner.
The ice was tilted towards the PHI end after that first goal, and the Bruins were fully engaged and all 4 lines were chugging. The Czech-Mates doubled up the score when Zacha put one off the far post and in with a one-timer from the top of the RW circle. Krejci carried into the PHI zone and (stop me if you’ve heard this before) moved laterally to gain separation, before finding Zacha on the right. Zacha opened up to get absolutely all of this shot.
That score held going into the first intermission, I know that PHI HC John Tortorella has banned all iPads on the bench, but I wonder if they are allowed to watch video during intermissions? Must be tough to adjust when you’re not allowed to see what’s going wrong.
To open the 3rd, injured winger Jake DeBrusk joined Jack and Brick on the NESN feed to give some insight and analysis from the 9th floor, and I have to say, DeBrusk was great on the call. He seemed to be having fun and let his personality shine through. With his former linemate on the call, Brad Marchand put the B’s up by 3 with less than 4 minutes played. Patrice Bergeron carried the puck down the RW and gave it back to Matt Grzelcyk at the point. Grz put one on net and Marchand tucked the rebound home on his backhand. If you have the sound on for the clip below, you’ll notice DeBrusk stops talking as Marchand was down low at the net. Kid’s got a future in the broadcast booth.
Just 46 seconds later (of course it was 46 seconds, it’s was Krejci’s day after all), Zacha got his 2nd of the afternoon when he finished off a Krejci feed from the bottom of the LW circle. This shot found it’s way home through a thicket of legs/sticks/bodies as Krejci drove the net with a Flyer all over him. 2G for Zacha after signing his extension… not a bad immediate return on investment.
That would do it on the afternoon for Carter Hart as he was yanked during a TV timeout for Samuel Ersson. I mean if there was only some way for the Flyers to make in-game adjustments on the fly. Imagine if there was technology in place for players to be able to adjust their spacing and systems on the bench during game play? What a benefit that would be for the entire organization. Maybe some day that technology will be commonplace in the new NHL. Until then, donkey logic runs the world and you get pasted by six.
“I don’t give a flying shit about how I’m perceived”
With about a minute remaining on the Bruins power play to open the final frame, Pastrnak got his 2nd of the contest when his one-timer beat Ersson far side over the glove. Marchand had the puck down low in the RW corner and his seam passed (that looked as if it was meant for Krejci in the slot) got tipped to Pastrnak at the LW dot and… you know how that goes.
But the boys weren’t done just yet. Charlie McAvoy drove the LW corner and then curled back up with the puck on his forehand and found Grzelcyk cross-ice at the RW circle. Grz gathered in the smoke from McAvoy and beat Ersson far-side over the blocker to make it a half dozen.
Of course the Flyers had to try and goon it up late in the game, I mean there’s no way they’re able to review what’s been working/not working for them during the game, so they might as well try to play old-time hockey? With the on-ice officials reffing the scoreboard and not the game, the B’s ended up shorthanded for 5 out of the last 6 minutes of the contest, but PHI is so inept at hockey that they couldn’t get any sustained looks and actually gave up a few scoring opportunities. Way to battle back for the Flyers. I hope they get a reel to reel tape of the game that they can review on the bus ride back. I mean if you’re going old school, you should go old school all the way. All wooden sticks, no chartered flights and Marlboro Reds in the locker room.
Tonight was Jeremy Swayman’s first shutout of the season and he looked good with 29 saves. Sway was squared up to all shooters and looked very fluid with his movements, good to see him rounding into the same form he had before his injury set him back at bit earlier this season. DeBrusk commented on the NESN feed that he hates going against Swayman in practice since he constantly chirps everyone he faces. Gotta love that.
Funny moment when Nick Foligno decided to not drop his gloves and cave Travis Konecny’s head in: Foligno got whistled for a cross check that was a 10ply soft call. Uncle Nicky was caught on the ref’s mic as he “shared his thoughts” on the way to the box.
The Bruins are off for a few days before heading to NY for back to backs with the NYI and NYR. Good test for the boys coming off today’s game vs. an inferior opponent.
Good to see the Huggy Bears back in their natural habitat.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28