There wasn’t a ton of scoring tonight, so let’s just stick with some Tweets!
Jack Studnicka got the scoring started with the always-interesting Face Goal. 1-0 Bruins
David Backes made it 2-0 Bruins in the third period.
And uh...that was about it! Other highlights of this game included:
- Jeremy Lauzon getting in a fight.
- Jaroslav Halak going for a few walks out to the faceoff dots to try to chase down loose pucks.
- Halak going for goal with the New Jersey net empty.
That’s really all she wrote! Bruins win, 2-0.
- It’s preseason, it’s “don’t get hurt” hockey, etc. I know. But man, New Jersey looked bad tonight. It’s not like they didn’t have anybody playing either: Jack Hughes, Nikita Gusev, and Nico Hischier were all in action, and all did...well, nothing, really. The Devils had one 2-on-1 early and a decent behind-the-net chance in the third, and that was kind of it. The lineup the Bruins put out there was far from NHL-ready, though their defense was pretty much intact. For a team that many are picking to be a sleeper, Jersey better hope its guys just had an off night.
- Tonight’s game was a huge one for David Backes. Though he remains much maligned by segments of the fan base, he has had a decent preseason. He got the results to show for it tonight, with a goal in the third and an all-around solid game. On the night, Backes had a goal, 5 shots, and a penalty. That’s what you’d call an active evening.
- Speaking of Backes, he told a pretty powerful story to the assembled media after the game. He mentioned multiple times how hard he worked this offseason, how this was the best he’s felt preseason since his first year here, etc. But the notable part of the story came when he was skating with his high school team, and was asked to go over to the other rink to say hi to a group of girls doing figure skating lessons. He did, and tried to skate with them...only to find that he couldn’t do their skating drills. He ended up hiring their coach, Katie McDonough, as his skating coach for the summer. He called it “divine intervention,” and said he can already see the work he did all summer paying off in his skating. Pretty cool.
- Neither was going to make the team, but tonight has to be a bit disappointing for Zach Senyshyn and Ryan Fitzgerald. They skated just 11:43 and 10:29 respectively, the lowest on the team aside from Studnicka, who missed time due to his cut-up face.
- Matt Grzelcyk was probably the best player on the ice tonight. He really is a treat to watch with the puck.
- Bruce Cassidy said after the game that he expects to go with a more NHL-ready lineup for the finale on Saturday. He mentioned that he anticipates making a round of cuts to get the two groups down to one tomorrow or Friday morning.
- Other guys who looked good tonight, for various reasons: Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, and Danton Heinen.
- The work done over at the Garden really is something to see. The press box seats are temporarily located in the old SportsDeck due to ongoing renovations on the 9th Floor, but it looks like it’s going to be quite a space when finished. The exterior of the complex looks very impressive as well, with the new supermarket, Pro Shop, and office space open, and other stuff coming soon. It might not be brand new, but the place is going to look like a new arena when it’s done.
- Cassidy went out of his way to compliment Par Lindholm tonight. Saying that there’s a lot to like about his game, he also mentioned that he thinks Lindholm might have some offense that he’s yet to unearth. He compared him to Riley Nash, who had a career year with the Bruins.
- Studnicka was missing his front teeth, had a swollen lip, and was sporting some stitches with dried blood after the game. He did, however, note that tonight’s Face Goal wouldn’t stop him from going to the front of the net.
The preseason finale is Saturday at 3 PM at the Garden.