The game got off to a hot, hot start as the B’s latest incarnation of 3rd line center notched his first goal less than a minute and a half into the period off of a Noel Acciari wraparound chance that bounced right to his stick off of Darcy Kuemper! 1-0 Bruins!
By doing so, I’m like 75% certain he’s the first Bruin this year to score off of a puck flying into the slot without another player blocking it or the puck flying past them.
And just when you think this start was good, Jake DeBrusk joined the party off of a tricky Brad Marchand chance that Kuemper couldn’t get to. 2-0 Bruins!
A lucky bounce, maybe. But otherwise? phenomenal hustle.
And that’s when Boston began...the siege.
The siege is where this game mostly spent it’s time, as the B’s would struggle to put shots on goal for most of the first and all of the 2nd, but managed to keep the score as it was due primarily to Jaroslav Halak appearing to have shaken off whatever ailed him over the past couple of weeks and rebounded into form.
Also there was hope of a third, but Matt Grzelcyk would have his possible goal revoked. Onwards to the 2nd.
The only thing you need to know about this period is that the Coyotes had 10 shots on goal...
And Boston had 3. Total.
Now, some of that was luck, as there were stretches where zone time happened...but not enough to translate it into shots.
Naturally, this would be the period where the Coyotes got on the board, as Vinnie Hinostroza took a shot that was deflected by Brad Richardson off of a Connor Clifton turnover...parallel to the net.
If ever the phrase “Teachable moment” described a play, it’d probably be this one. Rough sequence for the guy.
Thankfully, Boston didn’t surrender any further goals and onto the 3rd we go.
Boston slammed the door shut in this period, and a welcome change from the last couple of third periods, actually managed to pressure the team they were playing by getting 13 onto Kuemper, though Arizona had kept up their earlier pace, so it was a period where goaltending went bonkers.
Some sphincter-clenching moments came as Matt Grzelcyk was sent to the box toward the end of the game, giving the Yotes a man-advantage where they’d been pressing all night...but Jeremy Lauzon was up to their challenge:
something something best goalie is your defenseman something something best defenseman is your goalie.
And with that terrifying sequence fresh in the mind, Brad Marchand sent the puck the length of the rink, the horn sounded, and the Bruins, without a vast majority of their starting defense or their number 1 center, won an NHL game.
- TOI Leaders were almost all defensemen: Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, and Connor Clifton all had over 20 minutes. The only forward who had over 20 was Brad Marchand.
- Given that they got shelled in the opening two periods it should not surprise you that Boston had a fairly grim night fancystats wise. 8 players were at or over 50% in either CF% or FF%, thankfully a couple of them were in fact the youths, as Danton Heinen had one of his best games this year (58.82% CF, 72.73% FF), as did Anders Bjork (55.00% CF, 56.25% FF).
- Humorously, half of those players were deadlocked at 50% in CF%.
- PK was lights out, 4 for 4, and thankfully the most important one was also the one where Jeremy Lauzon got to be the hero. What a play to keep the team alive.
- Halak is good, grass grows, sky remains a shade of blue, definitely made it known tonight.
- An uncharacteristically quiet night for David Pastrnak in spite of the fact he and Brad Marchand accounted for 8 of Boston’s 23 SOG. Lineup turmoil might be part of the issue, so one can hope having a couple days to take a minute and reset will get him back to his goalscoring ways.
B’s are off until Wednesday, when they play the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit at 7:30pm EST.
I will be in Wisconsin for the upcoming holiday, so someone else will see you there!