Chances are you weren’t awake for this one, so we’ll make it quick. Last night’s tilt was an increasingly entertaining game that showed Boston’s deficiencies on the power play, and a not-too-surprising over-reliance on the top line. Matt Grzelcyk’s stock continues to rise every minute he’s on the ice.
Though the game started off with good pace, the Flames were the first to strike, about five minutes in. A strangely wide-open odd man rush left Michael Frolik completely uncovered and with a clean one-timer opportunity to put the Flames in front, 1-0.
The middle of the period didn’t look much better, as Johnny Gaudreau potted the 100th goal of his career off a circuitous zone possession by Calgary. Here’s the full sequence:
Now, that’s a puck that Tuukka Rask should probably cover... quickly. Well, I guess we can recover from tha...
OH HOLY HELL. OK, the deflected shot off the wrist might not be Tuuk’s fault, but DAMN that’s a painful way to close the first. Hey, at least David Pastrnak can recover the B’s hope and pot a trademark low-circle one-timer! All is right with the world.
WAIT. NOPE. It’s called back for offsides, and the period would end with a whimper as Boston drew a penalty with twenty seconds to play.
Slow start, and Patrice Bergeron took an overlapping penalty to start the period to put Boston down to 5-on-3. Bergeron would redeem himself by trapping a shot from David Krejci, settling and roofing it over Mike Smith’s glove hand to put the Bruins on the board.
Frolik, however, would be the recipient of a Pastrnak turnover to net his second of the game.
Ryan Donato took what is simply described as a stupid penalty, clipping Johnny Hockey on an offensive rush. The game would return to even strength around the midpoint of the second, and further along, a good rush from an offensively-minded lineum in Charlie McAvoy/Matt Grzelcyk lined up with 63-37-88 yielded just enough time and space for Marchand to bury a seeing-eye pass from Bergeron - bringing Boston back within two.
Calgary would commit their own back-to-back penalties late in the period to give Boston almost a minute of two-man advantage to kick off the third.
Nearly a full minute of 5v3 yielded nothing for Boston, nor did the extra advantage for about 30 seconds after that. As Pierre put it, “that’s the kind of power play where you burn the tape.” Not an effective use of a serious advantage.
Rask continued to improve throughout the game, with some increasingly important - and impressive - saves, including this one on Johnny Hockey to keep Calgary from adding to their lead.
Rough sequence for Johnny Gaudreau pic.twitter.com/X6rFXIsePc— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 18, 2018
Chuckie BrightLights took a penalty, though, at the end of this play - putting Boston in a momentum hole for the rest of the game. Boston would continue on to a 5-2 loss after an empty net goal by Matthew Tkachuk.
- This was Tuukka Rask’s first career regulation loss to Calgary. Less about Tuukka, and more about the improvements that Calgary has made over the last eleventy billion years.
- This was a more real game than we’ve seen thus far. Though it’s early to predict Calgary’s playoff aspirations, this was a much different and more level competitive balance than in nearly all the games Boston has played to this point.
- As we led with in this recap, Matt Grzelcyk continues to impress. If he continues on his trajectory, he’ll eclipse Torey Krug.
- It wasn’t just Tuukka’s fault, the first half of the first period was abysmal all around. It was comforting to see him settle into an otherwise well-rounded game regardless of Calgary’s early goals.
The road trip continues with a visit to the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 9pm. Stay tuned to SCoC for more coverage!