Talking Points: Tuch, Subban lead the way for Golden Knights
There were points over the summer where Alex Tuch was whispered about as a possible trade target for the Bruins. The former Boston College standout showed on Sunday afternoon that he might have been a wise acquisition as he burned the Bruins for a goal and two points in an excellent performance for the expansion Golden Knights. Tuch finished with the two points and a plus-2 in 13:56 of ice time, had four shots on net, seven shot attempts overall, three registered hits and a pair of takeaways while serving as one of the best players on the ice. He changed the game when he stole a puck from Sean Kuraly in the neutral zone during the second period, and then fired past Tuukka Rask to get Vegas on the board.
Frank Vatrano finished with zero shots on net and a minus-1 rating in 8:42 of ice time, and really continues to be a total non-factor for the Bruins in the early going of this season. It’s to a point where you wonder how much longer the Bruins will continue to trot players like Vatrano out there that are pretty one-dimensional, and aren’t even doing enough of the one thing they have - shooting and scoring in Vatrano’s case - in order to make themselves viable. It’s getting close to the time when bodies might get swapped out with Providence if the flat line performances continue, and it might already be too late for a player that’s really done nothing for the Bruins.
The Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the second period, and essentially lost the game on a couple of plays that happened within a three-minute span of each other. The Alex Tuch goal happened on a nice individual play after he stripped Sean Kuraly in the neutral zone, and then the Bruins completely broke down in front of the Boston net on a second goal for Vadim Shipachyov just a couple of minutes later. It was part of a second period where the Golden Knights fired 14 shots on the Boston net and produced just enough offense to carry the day on a low-scoring afternoon against Vegas. The Bruins needed to win this game in the first 40 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, and they absolutely didn’t do that at all.
Okay, okay. So Malcolm Subban should get some credit for getting the win against his former team, and exacting some level of revenge against a Bruins group that waived him just a couple of weeks ago. He certainly deserves some plaudits for simply making it through an entire NHL game. But the Bruins made it really easy on Subban and put just 21 mostly harmless shots on the Vegas net while letting him off the hook in a major way. Most of the shots that could have been good chances either missed the net entirely, or were pucks that fired directly into the crest of his Golden Knights jersey. So while Subban gets the win and his deserves share of the credit, the Bruins didn’t make him work very hard for it either.
BY THE NUMBERS
33 – the percentage of face-off wins for the Bruins as they went 19-for-57 on the draw and were led by Riley Nash finishing 2-for-12 for the night.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“It was just a frustrating game. It was a good first period in a back-to-back that isn’t easy, but it was a disappointing second and it was kind of hard to come back.” – David Krejci, frustrated by the 3-1 loss to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.