Talking points: Kenny Agostino has statement game vs. Flyers
Kenny Agostino hadn’t been talked about much in training camp to this point, but he made a statement in the overtime win for the Bruins. Agostino executed a nice double-move in 3-on-3 overtime for the breakaway game-winner, and also served up the pass to Paul Postma for the game-tying goal in the third period. As the game went on one could see the speed and some of the tenacity in Agostino’s game that’s allowed him to post pretty good numbers in the minors. In all Agostino finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 rating in 13:40 of ice time and finished tied for the team-high with four shots on net and five shot attempts. That was the good news for a player that’s going to need to show plenty if he’s to hold off some of the younger Bruins prospects from beating him out for an NHL roster spot once camp breaks.
Jesse Gabrielle had a pretty good first 50 or so minutes to Thursday night’s game as he helped played pretty good shutdown D on the lines he was matched up, managed to really aggravate the Flyers players with his actions on the ice and even was involved in a couple of plays that turned into odd-man rushes for the Bruins. But he also took a 10-minute misconduct and two-minute minor in the third period when he grabbed a stick of one of the Flyers players while sitting on the Bruins bench. That’s a no-no and obviously would have been very costly if it had been done during the regular season. Gabrielle showed he’s got some of the things necessary to be an effective agitator at the NHL level, but he also perhaps showed that he’s got a few things to learn in the minors about where the line that can’t be crossed is for him.
The Bruins made a nice recovery after giving up a goal in the third period, and bounced right back by scoring the game-tying marker less than two minutes after one puck trickled past Tuukka Rask. It was Paul Postma that bombed a high point shot past Alex Lyon after the Flyers goaltender had just barely smothered a Matt Grzelcyk stuff-in attempt at the goal line. That play led to a whistle and an offensive zone face-off, and shortly afterward Postma fired home the game-tying goal that eventually led to the Bruins overtime win. While it wasn’t a night that was exactly filled with fluid, flowing hockey from end-to-end, it was good to see the Bruins still had enough on their preseason roster to push back once they were challenged in the third.
While the one goal that he did give up was pretty shaky, Tuukka Rask was also the reason that the Bruins were still in contention for a win late in the game. Rask made 21 saves in the first two periods including a point-blank stop of Wayne Simmonds right in front of the net, and a breakaway save on Jakub Voracek in overtime. Sure, the Travis Sanheim goal from the outside edge of the face-off circle wasn’t very good at all, but it’s the preseason for Boston’s No. 1 goalie as well. In his first appearance of the preseason Rask stopped 30-of-31 shots and kept the Flyers to one goal until the Bruins finally put things away in the overtime session. Rask was sharp early and was good enough throughout to win, and that’s all that really matters in the end.
BY THE NUMBERS:
7 – the number of slashing calls in the Bruins-Flyers game as the NHL attempts to get a little more enforcement on the stick infractions, and is making it a point of emphasis to call more slashes in the preseason.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"Hockey is a fast game, and right now we’re slowing it down.” –Patrice Bergeron, in some highly critical words about the new face-off enforcement that has really slowed the pace-of-play down. Bergeron almost never utters a discouraging word when it comes to the league, but it appears that the center man is at odds with the stricter enforcement on draws.