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Recap: Bruins kick off 2024 with 4-1 win over Blue Jackets

They had to shake off some tired legs, but woke up as the game crept on!

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Welcome to 2024! Would the Boston Bruins show up quickly in the new year or be snuffed in what always seems like a trap game this season when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets this season? Let’s find out together!

First Period

Was...was there a first period? Very sleepy all the way around.

Second Period

Kevin Shattenkirk gives the Bruins a 1-0 lead! He throws a surprise shot off the half boards off the post far-side and in past Spencer Martin.

But would these not be the 2023-24 Bruins if they didn’t let one up quickly thereafter? After giving up an odd-man rush, Kent Johnson finds space as a trailer despite the Bruins collapsing into the d-zone, and whips one past Linus Ullmark, making it a 1-1 game.

PP2 gets the job done later in the period! Hampus Lindholm lets one go from the top of the point, and we get a double deflection off of Jake DeBrusk in the slot, then James van Riemsdyk parked in front of the blue paint. 2-1, Bruins!

Third Period

Boston wouldn’t let this one slip away! Good work on the forecheck from the third line sets up a shot from JVR, and Danton Heinen cleans up the rebound by roofing the carom off Spencer Martin’s pads top-side. It’s a 3-1 Bruins lead now!

The final member of the third line would not be denied, either! Adam Fantilli leaps to bat the puck, but it ends up in the possession of JVR. He creates a pseudo 2-on-1 with Trent Frederic, sends a slick feed to no. 11, who wires one far-side past Martin’s blocker. 4-1, and this game is on ice.

You know what time it is!

My Three Stars

  1. James van Riemsdyk
  2. Linus Ullmark
  3. Trent Frederic

Game Notes

  • This was the first three-point game for JVR in a Bruins uniform. I know he’s been quiet since mid-November, but secondary scoring comes from all members when you need it! One of his best as a Bruin tonight. He has 22 points in 33 games this season so far. He had 29 in 61 last season. How’s that for better pace?
  • How about 2024 Trent Frederic, same as 2023 Freddie? I have to envision this is what Don Sweeney and co. were thinking Frederic would become when he was drafted 29th overall in 2016.
  • Let’s continue to talk about secondary pieces, how about Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s on a scoring tear as of late? He may be a defensive liability at times, but he’s doing just what he’s employed to do: be an offensive sparkplug from the blueline. It took him time to adapt into the Bruins’ lineup, but he’s been all over the scoresheet of late.
  • I’ll leave this here on its own:
  • Linus Ullmark was swimming a little bit tonight, but he made big saves when he needed to.
  • Only one power play against tonight (yes, we had matching minors with Lohrei and Alexander Texier, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯), a much more disciplined game!
  • Speaking of Mason Lohrei, we hope he’s leaking a lot less after taking a puck up high in the second period. He left twice, came back to play 14:50 overall, but had a lip fatter than a Kardashian, some bloody gauze and a probable lack of a few chiclets.
  • Not ever game is going to be pretty, and the Bruins definitely started out slow. That’s going to have to change against stiffer competition, and honestly they’re lucky they could get away with it tonight against a team who’s shown up every time they’ve faced Boston this season.
  • We’ll be back Thursday night as the Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden! Sorry y’all, it’s an ESPN broadcast.