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Recap: Defensive breakdowns spoil Donato's big debut

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Donato’s night, but Bruins fall

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Last Second Lineup Change

About an hour before game time, the Bruins released information that Anton Blidh was called up on an emergency basis. Sure enough, as the Bruins came out for warmups, Blidh was on the ice and Rick Nash was missing.

It was released during warmups that Rick Nash was day-to-day with an upper-body injury. When asked about it, Bruce Cassidy said that Nash took a hit in Tampa which caused the injury. He participated in morning skate, but when he got off the ice, it was determined he was not alright to play, and the Bruins management took action. These are the times it is so nice having your farm team within a reasonable distance, unlike some teams like Florida, whose farm team is located in Springfield, MA.

Ryan Donato’s Debut

A three-point night for Donato was quite the impressive start to what will hopefully be a long and successful career. Coach Cassidy said, “Consistency is a big issue for first-year guys.” This will surely be a game-by-game relationship as Donato continues to develop in the NHL.

Donato was also thrown into the first powerplay unit right away. He was assigned to be the net-front guy for the 1-3-1 formation the Bruins, and every other NHL team, play. Cassidy said, “I asked him where he played [at Harvard], and he said the half wall or the net-front.” He claimed his, “Compete for loose pucks,” helps make him a good net-front presence, but, “[The Bruins] will probably use him somewhere elsewhere in the future.”

5 Goals Against

Coach Cassidy doesn’t seem to be bothered by the number of goals against. He mentioned that the Bruins didn’t give up too many shots. That is true. The Bruins gave up just 28 shot attempts at 5v5, 17 of which were shots on goal, totaling just 0.92 expected goals.

He noted that on the goals, there were clear breakdowns in coverage. He was visibly upset after Sonny Milano netted one off a cross-ice pass from Ryan Murray. However, he is not concerned about the future of the defense for the Bruins.

The Officiating

This is the juicy part everybody is waiting for. After no call on a Marchand rush early in overtime, Bruins fans were very frustrated. Kevan Miller’s second penalty of closing his hand on the puck was also suspect. Cassidy also mentioned a couple of icings that were called tightly.

When asked about the officiating, Cassidy said he wasn’t upset at all, just confused. He calmly reminded everyone in the press room that it’s the nature of the game, and that he hopes the Bruins get some calls to go their way in the future.