The Bruins were fresh off the news that David Backes would be out for 8 weeks after undergoing colon surgery as they hosted the Las Vegas Golden Knights at the Garden last night.
I always wonder if hockey players react to the injuries of teammates like other professional athletes in different sports. When Gordon Hayward went down the NBA’s opening night with his horrific injury, the Celtics looked shaken up for a bit and it affected their play. Granted Backes injury wasn’t some horrific spectacle as a result of a play… but still, he is a veteran leadership presence in the locker room that underwent a big-time surgery on an organ. I just always wonder if hockey players get shaken up by teammates injuries or not. Mainly because hockey players are psychopaths and that’s what I love about them. They are the toughest athletes on the planet and that’s undisputed.
The Bruins emerged victorious last night. It was ugly, but a win is a win especially in the early parts of an NHL season where points matter. EVERY POINT MATTERS.
I’ve been piling on the Bruins since the start of the season because I expected them to actually be a lot better despite everyone telling me to stay grounded. But they truly have taken to heart that every point matters. The Bruins have at taken at least a point out of each of their last 6 games (3-0-3 record).
About last night though… The Bruins were getting solid scoring chances at the beginning of the game. The first line of Pastrnak-Bergeron-Marchand is an ice-gasm. Watching them work was like poetry in motion and they were generating most of the chances to start out. Still, the Bruins were outshot 8-5 by the end of the first period.
5 shots… One period… Against an expansion team that was down to the FOURTH GOALIE. That was probably the most frustrating part. I know the Knights are not your average expansion team and I actually love the way they play, but to only have 5 shots against a fourth-string goalie irked me.
The second period was brighter.
AND JESUS WEPT! — PUCKS TO THE NET. That’s how you do it. Riley Nash hitting that post got a giant “Come the fuck on.” out of me when it happened but the Bruins kept with it and Nash takes advantage of the next opportunity.
While the lead was enjoyable, it wasn’t enjoyed for too long thanks to yet another defensive zone turnover by the Bruins. Cody Eakin capitalized on the opportunity and it’s the little mistakes like that, that cause me to want to put my head through a wall.
When the third period rolled around, both teams were looking to kill each other and that’s the kind of hockey that I absolutely love. The entire period looked anything but pretty but Sean Kuraly made sure to be in the right place at the right time.
Another prime example of just getting the puck to the damn net and there will be a much better chance of good things happening.
The Bruins held on from there, and to me, the star of the night was Tuukka Rask. Rask stood on his head most of the night and logged what I thought was his best performance of the season so far.
28 saves on 29 shots and he made some tough ones. I think Rask has been feeling the heat so far this season and this was a nice response.
For as frustrating as the Bruins can be, they do have a solid identity forming with respects to never giving up. We saw that in the Columbus game where they went down 3-0 and refused to pack it in. Last night was a grind it out game that they really stuck with for all three periods. That kind of stuff is a huge positive going forward.