GOLD STAR: While it took a while for the Bruins to get going, Patrice Bergeron was one of the players that didn’t stop playing for the Black and Gold. It was his power-play goal in the second period that started to turn things moving in the right direction, and he continued that level of play with a no-look pass to Brad Marchand for the game-tying score in the third period. Bergeron finished with a goal and two points in 22:08 of ice time with four shots on net, a hit, a takeaway and managed to win 13-of-27 draws while doing yeoman’s work at both ends of the ice. It’s a shame that Bergeron was never able get involved in the shootout after Kenny Agostino and Brad Marchand were the first two guys to come down the pipe.
BLACK EYE: Kenny Agostino played just five minutes in the shootout loss to the Blue Jackets, but somehow he managed to be one of the two shooters that Bruce Cassidy was able to get out on the ice before Columbus iced the shootout win. That means Agostino was going to be one of Boston’s top three shooters over either Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak, and that is a choice that leaves plenty of room for second-guessing. Agostino might be a lights out shootout/penalty shot specialist in the AHL and he may have been impressive in practice, or perhaps it was more of a hunch from Cassidy that he would come through. Whatever it was, hopefully it’s the last time we see the career AHL winger get selected over Boston’s top-tier offensive players in their next shootout.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins came on strong in the third period and scored a pair of goals to wipe out the Columbus advantage, and push things into the extra session. It was goals from Torey Krug and Brad Marchand that ended up tying things up after Boston’s horrid start, and gave the Bruins an impressive finishing kick that showed some heart and character. It wasn’t completely dominant from the B’s as it was a 9-9 shot count in the final 20 minutes, but the Bruins were very clearly exerting some pressure on the Blue Jackets.
HONORABLE MENTION: Zdeno Chara didn’t factor into the scoring, but he did make a clear statement that the first period wasn’t acceptable when he stepped up and dropped the gloves with Josh Anderson at the start of the second period. He was targeted with a number of hits in his final shift of the first period, so he was pretty surly to start the second as the rest of his teammates should have been as well. Chara leveled Anderson behind the Boston net to start the trouble, and then finished things with the fight against another mammoth player on the other roster. In all Chara finished with seven shot attempts, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in 24:08 of ice time.
BY THE NUMBERS: 29:19 – the total ice time for workhorse defenseman Charlie McAvoy against a heavy, physical Blue Jackets bunch as the rookie continues to take on more and more responsibility for the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t think we’re a team that’s going to win too many games if we don’t have all 20 guys going, and I don’t think that was the case pretty early on.” – Bruce Cassidy, to NESN on his assessment of the ghastly start for the B’s in their eventual 4-3 shootout loss.