The Bruins lost to the Detroit Red Wings tonight, falling in overtime by a score of 3-2. Because it was the preseason, we won’t get into an in-depth recap, obsessing over the nuances of a game that was...choppy, to say the least.
Instead, here are some quick thoughts on tonight’s game.
- UGLY. The whole game was pretty much the epitome of preseason hockey. Penalties seemed to come every other minute. Turnovers were rampant. Passes were errant. Shots missed the net. This was not exactly hockey at its finest, but that’s okay. That’s what the preseason is for.
- After the game, Bruce Cassidy seemed to think the ugliness was caused by a few different things: some of it was carelessness on the part of the players, some of it was bad/soft ice that made finesse plays more difficult, and some of it was plain old rust.
- Speaking of the ice, it’s not hard to believe it was soft. The weather in Boston has been weird lately (surprise!). It was in the 50s on Tuesday, and then was humid and over 80 on Wednesday. That heat and humidity was probably felt inside the building, which is never good for the ice.
- Jaroslav Halak looked pretty sharp for the Bruins tonight. There was nothing he could do on the game-winning goal, and the other two came through screens. It’s early, of course, but he looks like he’s ready to be a more-than-capable back-up.
- Lee Stempniak had an odd night. He looked terrible at times; there was a shift in the first period where he turned the puck over in the corner two different times, and then ended up icing the puck. Not ideal. However, he seemed to gain steam as the game went on. He may have been one of those guys who needed to get his legs underneath him.
- Torey Krug looked good in his return to regular action. His skating was strong, vision was good...he looks like he’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.
- With Jack Studnicka sent back to juniors, Trent Frederic and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson are the two kids fighting for that 3C spot (or a roster spot in general). Neither looked great tonight, with a slight edge going to Frederic. Cassidy implied after the game that one or both may need another look Saturday, but he also implied that roster moves could be made as early as Thursday.
- Urho Vaakanainen continues to impress. Watching him play, it’s easy to forget he’s 19 years old and is playing in his first North American hockey action. He’s poised with the puck, makes good decisions and has good positioning.
- The Bruins’ power play has looked truly awful at times this season, but is there real reason for concern? Tonight, passes that were lay-ups last season were off by a few feet, so that can probably be chalked up to rust. Not having Patrice Bergeron on the ice doesn’t help matters either. There are probably tweaks to be made, but expect the full major league power play to be more effective.
- The fourth line of Jordan Szwarz, Daniel Winnik and Noel Acciari had a strong game tonight. The trio was tenacious on the forecheck, forcing more than a few Red Wings to hear footsteps and get careless with the puck. Szwarz, in particular, stood out. Expect to see him get ice time in Boston sooner rather than later once the season begins, regardless of his recent waiver stint.
One game to go! The Bruins will host the Flyers on Saturday, then it’s on to the regular season.
Your thoughts on tonight’s affair?