The first week of the BEARD Hockey season is in the books and after 3 games, the Bruins have shown that pre-season is not a crystal ball.
There was some concern coming out of the pre-season as the Bruins had a few concerns after going 4-2 during pre-season play. Backup goalie Alex Stalock looked like he would be challenging Jordan Binnington for the #1 goalie spot and if Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov weren’t on the ice, the Bruins weren’t scoring.
It was another example of not taking what happens in the pre-season to heart. After the first 3 games every Boston forward has registered at least one point and Binnington has a shutout and only allowed 4 goals during those 3 games.
Game 1 was the only blemish so far this season, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.
The Bruins seemed to hold the play during the first 2 periods, despite being down 2-1 at the start of the 3rd, as they outshot the Leafs 24-12 through 40 minutes. Kucherov scored 28 seconds into the season and the Bruins continued to pepper Leafs goalie Tristan Jarry.
The 3rd period was a different story though as the Bruins were only able to come up with 2 shots, albeit the game tying goal from Alex Iafallo. Onto the shootout and the Leafs were able to pull away with the extra point as Patrick Marleau scored on the 5th round and Jarry was able to stop Tanner Pearson to seal it.
Game 2 saw the Ottawa Senators come to town. The Bruins won 4-0 in a dominating fashion. They outshot the Senators 43-23 with the Senators also blocking 22 shots. 65 shots were directed towards Sens goalie Jakob Markstrom as he did everything he could to keep his team in the game.
Bruins goals were scored by Stamkos, Travis Zajac, Jordan Greenway, and Ryan Hartman with the Bruins 2nd line the only line not registering a point.
Next up for the Bruins was their first road game against the Buffalo Sabres. Heading to Buffalo is usually as much fun as having a colonoscopy but after the game, Sabres goalie Carey Price may have preferred having a scope done.
The game was close through 47 minutes as the Bruins were up 3-2 before they blew the game wide open with 4 goals in the final minutes of the 3rd to come out ahead 7-2.
It was another night where a balanced offensive attack was the driving force behind the Bruins success. For the first time this year the 2nd line led the charge as they potted 3 goals, followed by 2 from Stamkos and 2 from the 4th line.
The next week ahead sees the Bruins at home against the Canadiens, followed by road games against Columbus and Minnesota. With back to back games coming up against the Canadiens and Columbus expect to see Alex Stalock get his first start in one of those games this week to give Binnington a rest. Nothing else is expected to change lineup wise in the next couple of games.
In a small sample size, the power play has had some success and the penalty kill has been promising. Goals are coming from many different players and the teams balanced attack has led the Bruins to success so far.