A beautiful ceremony. Lasting memories. One loss to start off the season. While the raising of the banner would make this one of the games for fans to remember in years to come, the results on the ice were less than amazing as the Philadephia Flyers played the spoiler role in this 2-1 loss.
After a 30 minute ceremony to end the cup run and begin anew, the Bruins came out strong and hard taking to the ice just like they left off in the spring. Puck control was maintained by the home team by a mix of size along the boards and speed appearing in the newly formed lines. With fans on edge looking for the first goal, the Bruins snapped off a number of close chances testing Bryzgalov early. Looking to start off his sophomore year with a bang, Tyler Seguin lead the way in creating these chances with one of his ringing off the post behind Bryzgalov's ear.
And while it may have taken half a period before the ice was broken, the Bruins would open up scoring with Tyler Seguin giving Brad Marchand the chance for a power play break away with a cross ice pass from blue line to blue line that the crafty winger would push back behind a sliding Bryzgalov. The goal exemplified the power play updates that the coaching staff hopes brings greater success with the advantage than last season. A 2nd unit consisting of Marchand, Peverley and Seguin aim to bring more skill and speed up front to provide a 2 prone attack with the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line. On the back end, new addition Joe Corvo has been pegged as a key cog to generate more offense and be the puck mover who is also willing to take the shot. And overall, these changes have lead to greater puck movement, aded rotation and more chances generated early in the neutral zone where the Bruins were often stymied last season.
Unfortunately for the Bruins though, these changes could not convert a second time. Worse, the chances of the Philadelphia Flyers would and before the end of the first period. Up and coming Claude Giroux and new to the Flyers Jakub Voracek scored 47 seconds apart within a minute of the end of the period to up end the momentum the Bruins created early on. From there, the Flyers would hold on and take the 2-1 victory.
The Bruins would fight back after taking the blow to end the first but it would be against a much more resilient Flyers team backed now by one of the top goaltenders in the league. On multiple occasions the Bruins came close to tying this one only to find Ilya Bryzgalov keeping his team up. One such instance found Brad Marchand again coming in with speed and only an incredible save by the former Coyote prevented him from putting the puck upstairs. When "Bryz" faltered, his defensemen stepped up for him - particularly on one save on a Nathan Horton shot, Kimmo Timonen dove to cover the unprotected side of the goal.
"It was a big night for Boston, but we came here with a business," Bryzgalov said. "We did not came here to celebrate with them." This new level of goaltending ability and dedication make Philly a dangerous challenger this season. Expect to see more of him and of the feistiness this team brings in the future showings.
Overall the team played well but certainly has room for improvement. Expect to see more work done to clear up breakouts, dump and chases and working in front of the net. Some line changes could happen tomorrow with Benoit Pouliot potentially making an appearance but it's likely Claude will look to continue down the path he's on.
The Bruins will play next on Saturday at 7 in the garden as they welcome Steven Stamkos and friends back for the first time since Game 7.