To let you know where this was gonna go, let’s check out what happened in the first 30 seconds.
Ugly, Ugly, Ugly start. 1-0 Yotes.
Thankfully, David Pastrnak managed to even things up with an absolute blast on the power play, bringing his personal goal total to 19! 1-1 Everybody!
Donthany, please pay this man.
In spite of all the work put into it, the Bruins couldn’t take the lead, and onto the 2nd we go.
Mostly more of the same; Bruins spent a good portion of the game in front of Vejmelka trying to solve him, and a mass of humanity formed in front of him just about halfway through the period to do just that, with Charlie Coyle coming up with the puck! 2-1 B’s!
But, like all things in this game, we couldn’t have entirely nice things, as Lawson Crouse got his first goal of the game off a tip from Chychrun’s blast from the point. 2-2 Everybody.
Not much you can do about that, still aggrivating.
We move on to the third, where nothing controversial or stupid happened.
Third Period, where something stupid and controversial happened:
Less than a minute into the period, Nick Schmaltz scored. 3-2 Yotes.
The Bruins would spend the next several minutes hammering the Yotes looking for an answer, though they seemed to be kind of stunned: passes began failing, puck movement spluttered, but finally...on the power play late...Nick Foligno’s revenge tour got a power play answer. 3-3 everybody.
Coyotes Win 4-3 over the Bruins for the first time since 2010, and first time in the continental US since 2009.
- Your TOI leader was Charlie McAvoy, with 24:22, 15:51 of which were at evens.
- Alright. Let’s unpack the very loaded and quite unhappy topic of Jeremy Swayman’s recent play. It is no secret that Swayman’s recent starts have been pretty mediocre, and I regret to inform you that tonight’s game was no different, finishing his night with a .750 SV% on 16 shots. It’s a worrying trend in his play, especially given that the Coyotes did not make his job hard much at all, but I am not that worried yet. For one thing, I think of the four goals, you could maybe say 2 and 4 were the ones you’d want back, the rest were just good plays by talented players. Further, Linus Ullmark being as good as he is means that he’ll probably see the lion’s share of starts so that’s no big deal. Finally...Swayman’s still very new to this, and has less than 70 NHL games total. It’s easy to let the blinders of the year allow you to forget that even in his rise to prominence, he had games exactly like this one just a year ago. It just didn’t happen against Arizona. He’ll be fine. He’s unquestionably the backup this year, but he’ll be okay.
- But hey, credit to the Coyotes, man. They got absolutely pumped at all strengths and Karel Vejmelka kept them in it for the long haul. They took to their scavenger namesake to heart and took every possible opportunity afforded to them by a team that otherwise tore them to pieces. There’s nothing to really say about the team’s effort...
- ...with the exception of maybe “Play to the Whistle”? The most controversial part of the game was it’s winner, where what should’ve been icing was negated for a reason the team seemed to disagree with, and Lawson Crouse popped home the winner. I went looking for a good reason, it seems like the rulebook for this year has something about the puck gliding through the blue paint in front of the goalie, but I’m not sure it ever made it there. Regardless, the B’s blinked, and the Yotes capitalized.
- We should, again, hope that the Coyotes ownership group decides paying Vejmelka is a better use of their time than however many picks he could command on the open market. I would much rather him be an annoyingly good player on a building team than a Vezina candidate out east.
- The thing about streaks is that they end, and hearing about how Boston has had a near decade long winning streak against them in the leadup to this game was all but assuring there was some clownery to be had.
- While we’re off topic of the game itself, NESN put on the rainbow wig, gag nose and floppy shoes to perform one of the worst televised broadcasts of a Bruins game in recent memory, and it was them; horrifically mixed audio to the point that the Coyotes Broadcast could be heard clearly, poorly white balanced cameras that made the ice look green in some cases, and just in general a barely professional work from them. It was distracting. Actively distracting.
- It’s a shame too because, outside of everything else...I think Mullett Arena kinda rules as a destination to watch a game. Sure, it’s pretty rinky dink to be playing in a college stadium, but apparently people like the ice and love the atmosphere, and if you’re trying to recoup an asset that’s been passed around by people who clearly didn’t care about it or bet on suburbs that didn’t become anything more than that, it’s a good start. For all the struggle, I do hope Arizona fans get back to something resembling normalcy.
- Although given their extreme proximity to local den of debauchery and chaos Arizona State University...we should probably adjust our expectations on what “normal” looks like.
The Bruins are travelling today, and will get their rematch against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday evening. That game drops the puck at 8pm ET.
See you tomorrow!