Talking Points: Ryan Spooner continues his upward trend
Ryan Spooner has been on an upward trend lately with his offensive game, and he played a big role in Saturday night’s win over the Coyotes. Spooner battled to get to the front of the net on a play where David Krejci found Zdeno Chara in the slot, and the Bruins captain ripped a shot that bounced off the speedy forward as he battled to stay in front of the painted area. The goal was initially credited to Chara, but eventually went to Spooner after a video review of the play. He finished with the goal, a plus-1 rating and five shot attempts in 15:27 of ice time while continuing to embrace the left wing role with a surging David Krejci, and a finally a healthy David Backes. Spooner has three goals on the season and it feels like he’s just scratching the surface.
Brad Richardson had a tough night for the Arizona Coyotes. He finished a minus-1 with zero shots on net, and lost 13-of-15 face-offs while getting worked by the Bruins centers on the draw. He also tried to pick a fight with 19-year-old rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo, who put Richardson into a WWE-style headlock for nearly the entirety of the altercation. Both players got a couple of shots in during Carlo’s first NHL fight, but Richardson lost in pretty much every way you can in a rough evening for the Coyotes in a loss to the Black and Gold.
The Bruins were going through the motions in the second period of a scoreless game, and watching as the Coyotes were hanging around in the game despite not playing very well up until that point. So Claude Julien waited until a TV timeout, ripped into his players a bit with some pointed words challenging them and then watched as Zdeno Chara set up Boston’s first goal just a few moments following the challenge from the B’s bench boss. The two-goal barrage in the second period was all the offense that the Bruins would need, and they simply hung on for dear life afterward while playing their fourth game in six days.
David Pastrnak scored on a rocket one-timer from the inside of the left face-off circle, and Arizona goalie Louis Domingue didn’t have a chance to stop the bomb teed up on a perfect dish from Brad Marchand. That marked the 20-year-old’s 10th goal of the season, and has seen Pastrnak get a goal in five of his last six games while generating the kind of production that could put him in line for a gigantic offensive season. Pastrnak finished with a team-high four shots on net, six shot attempts and the goal along with a plus-1 rating in 15:15 of ice time, and truly his line with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand dominated all night against an overmatched Coyotes group.
BY THE NUMBERS:
400 – the assist for Zdeno Chara on Ryan Spooner’s second period goal was the Bruins captain’s 400th career assist, an impressive number for a player that’s considered a shutdown D-man above all else.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"This wasn't a game I was accustomed to the last week or so. We can't be satisfied with just two points. We have to be able to play better. We looked like a team that thought it would be an easy night." -- Claude Julien, who clearly was still unhappy with Boston’s game despite the 2-1 win they eventually took home.