GOLD STAR: There weren’t a ton of players to choose from with the Bruins in a very “meh” effort, but perhaps unsurprisingly David Pastrnak was the standout. The Bruins game-breaker picked up right where he left off and scored the only goal of the game for the B’s while playing with his characteristic speed, pace and energy.
Pastrnak finished with a team-high four shots on net and seven shot attempts overall in 17:08 of ice time and generated plenty of offense while many of his teammates were still working through the rust getting knocked off. The goal was a beauty as Pastrnak picked up a loose puck, threw a big pump fake with a shot and then easily slid the puck between the pads of Elvis Merzlikins while attacking the net with speed. It honestly looked like child’s play for Pastrnak scoring the 1-on-1 goal.
The Bruins should hope to see a lot more of that going forward over the next few months.
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BLACK EYE: Brad Marchand wasn’t having a very good game and then was forced out of the proceedings in the third period with what appeared to be some lower body discomfort. Marchand finished out a penalty kill shift and then skated gingerly off the ice, but it was hard to determine if he simply pulled something or injured his lower body after throwing a hit on Zach Werenski and tumbling awkwardly into the boards.
On the ice before that moment, Marchand struggled big-time with zero shots on net, two turnovers and a penalty while failing to get anything going offensively at all. The injury at the end was really the capper for what was a pretty terrible night for No. 63 as all the Bruins players were hoping for a warm-up easing into the round-robin games.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins straight-up weren’t ready to play out of the starting gate against a Blue Jackets team that was playing at a higher intensity. The Blue Jackets scored three goals in the first period and consistently found open shooters in the offensive zone as the Bruins scrambled to get organized defensively following a slew of bad turnovers with the puck.
It got better as the game went along for the Burins before they ultimately lost by a 4-1 score, but the 13 shots on net and three goals allowed in the first period were just the tip of the iceberg. Bad turnovers, lazy penalties and some blown defensive assignments were par for the course for Boston over the first 20 minutes of the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: An encouraging night for Jack Studnicka playing right wing on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. The 21-year-old finished with three shots on net and a couple of scoring chances in 13:38 of ice time and showed some real chemistry with Krejci as he was on the receiving end of some of his passes.
Studnicka showed some good toughness in board battles, wasn’t afraid to shoot the puck at all and looked like he belonged as he attempts to win a second line job that was once earmarked for the absent Ondrej Kase. So far, so good for Studnicka, who didn’t do anything to hurt himself with his performance in the exhibition game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 26 – the number of the dearly departed Colby Cave when he was with the Bruins, which will adorn the helmets of all Bruins players for the rest of this season with a black heart decal as a remembrance for their fallen former teammate.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I just felt like I wanted to say it. It's my opinion. Nobody hacked my Twitter. It was all me, with my own fingers. That was a little side bet with Tom from back in the day and that’s the way I’m going to leave it.” –David Pastrnak explaining the mysterious tweet from his account crowning Washington Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson as the best goal-scorer in the NHL.