Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 win over the Golden Knights

Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 win over the Golden Knights

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak was flying from beginning to end with his best game of the season while scoring his first goal of the season. Pastrnak also had two assists along with a plus-1 rating in 19:26 of ice time and a number of offensive chances created through his skating, his playmaking and his work with linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. This was, by far, their best night of the season as they combined for three of the team’s four goals, 12 shots on net and 24 shot attempts while completely getting on track offensively. It would appear that the rust is finally off the Perfection Line.

BLACK EYE: Tuukka Rask appeared to be injured at the very end of the game after holding things down in the third period to protect a one-goal lead. He stayed down in the crease for a few moments and then needed help getting off the ice. It appears to be nothing as Rask said to reporters following the game that it was just cramping amidst the Vegas heat after a busy game where he made 31 saves with a frenetic ending. Likewise, Matt Grzelcyk appeared to have suffered a left foot injury when he blocked a shot in the first period that forced him from the bench, but he also appears to be okay after returning in the second and third periods.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins faltered early in the game when a couple of defensive coverage mistakes led to the Golden Knights being up by a couple of goals. Then the Bruins' best players decided enough was enough and began scoring. By the end of the first period, scores from Pastrnak and Marchand evened things up and then the Bruins kicked it into offensive gear in the second period to put Vegas in the rear-view mirror. It was all about the first period, though, as the B’s pulled themselves off the mat, led by their best players.

HONORABLE MENTION: Rask fought through some cramping problems at the end of the third period to secure the win. Rask finished with 31 saves and was a rock in the third period as the desperate Golden Knights began throwing everything at the Boston net. He made just six saves as the Bruins defense stiffened in the third period as well, but it was a mad scramble at the very end with Rask once again playing midseason hockey just a few games into the season. Rask has struggled historically in October, but that doesn’t appear to be the case this season after back-to-back wins to start.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – The number of team-leading hits for Karson Kuhlman, who actually played pretty well when he was dropped into a bottom-six role as Bruce Cassidy switched around the lines.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We battled back. There was no panic. We just kept pushing. Our power play came through for us. At the end of the day, the third period was solid. We played the right way and I like the way we closed out the game.” –Bruce Cassidy, to NESN postgame about a solid effort for the Bruins after battling back from an early 2-0 deficit.

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ first regulation loss at home in 2019-20:

GOLD STAR: It isn’t going to happen very often, but Ian Cole turned out to be the single biggest contributor in a team-wide win for the Avalanche. It was Cole that smoked a slap shot past the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak to give Colorado a 2-1 lead in the second period, and he made certain his first goal of the season was an important one. Cole also blocked five shots in 17:17 of ice time and was part of a gritty, determined effort to protect the lead once the Avs got up 3-1 in the third. He mixed in a couple of hits and a couple of takeaways as well, and made some big plays in what was pretty much a perfect game overall for Colorado.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bruins take first home regulation loss vs. Avs, 4-1

BLACK EYE: There’s more than a few, but how about Danton Heinen just not making the plays that he needs to make when he’s in the lineup? Forget about the zero shots on net in 16:45 of ice time, with a number of them either getting blocked or missing the net. That’s nothing new when it comes to a player that’s barely averaging a shot on net for game. But he also turned the puck over behind the Boston net in a sequence that led to Cole’s game-winner as the Bruins began to run around in the defensive zone. It was that particular play that led Bruce Cassidy to lament that the attention to details was lacking for his players at this point in the season. If Heinen isn’t making the little plays, is a minus player and isn’t bringing any offense, then he isn’t worth having in the lineup.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission tied at 1-1 after only putting four shots on net, and should have had the kind of wakeup call that they needed to turn the intensity up a little bit. Instead they went through a second period where they again only put up four shots on net while falling behind by two goals headed into the final 20 minutes. The Avalanche only leveled five shots on net as well, but they scored on a pair of them and pounced all over Boston’s mistakes while playing a surprisingly disciplined, two-way game despite their explosive offensive players. This time around, the Bruins didn’t have any way to come back in the third period against a quality Colorado team that wasn’t going to fold for them.

#HaggBag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em

HONORABLE MENTION: One of the few players to put up an honest-to-goodness effort in the loss was the hard-hitting fourth liner, Chris Wagner. It was Wagner that redirected a John Moore point shot in the first period for his third goal of the season that gave the Bruins an initial lead in the game. Wagner led the Bruins with five registered hits, scored on the only shot on net he had in the game and won 5-of-10 face-offs that he took in his 12:39 of ice time. The shame was that there weren’t enough other players that rose to the level of urgency and compete that Wagner was showing throughout the game for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 – The home point streak (12-0-5) is over for the Bruins as the Avs handed them their first regulation loss on home ice this year, and their first since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues almost six months ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now. We’ve just got to wake up and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us.” –Bruce Cassidy, lamenting the lack of urgency in the B’s game as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Avalanche.

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.


BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)





At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

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