Jake DeBrusk

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-2 loss to the Avalanche

Talking Points from Bruins' 4-2 loss to the Avalanche

GOLD STAR: Gabriel Landeskog is a member of one of the NHL’s best lines and they got the upper hand on the Bruins and their Perfection Line on Thursday night. It was Landeskog that knifed through the Boston penalty kill in the first period to rattle a sniper shot past Jaroslav Halak that was ultimately slammed home by Nathan MacKinnon. 

Then Landeskog got his goal in the third period with the empty netter to ice the 4-2 Avalanche victory. The Colorado winger was strong throughout the game with the goal and two points along with five shots on net, a hit and a couple of blocked shots in 19:21 of active ice time. There was a time when the Bruins were fooling around with the idea of trading for Landeskog and he gave a pretty good showing on Thursday night of what he’s still bringing to the table.

BLACK EYE: Jake DeBrusk had a tough night. Not only did he have both a goal and a sweet assist wiped off the board by coach’s challenges, but he also finished with a team-worst minus-2 rating in his 16:19 of ice time. Honestly, DeBrusk deserved much, much better than what he got in Colorado at the end of a very long trip, but that is how the puck bounces sometimes. It’s encouraging that DeBrusk was creating offensive plays and moving with really strong skating legs at the end of the trip out West. Now, the left winger needs to push through and finally pile up some points offensively even after getting screwed by circumstances in Colorado.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins could have had a 3-1 lead in the second period where they would have seized the momentum back from Colorado after an apparent Karson Kuhlman goal. Instead, the Avs challenged the goal saying that David Krejci interfered with goalie Phillip Grubauer in front of the crease. The officials ruled in favor of the challenge and wiped out the goal and it did seem like the right call. The wiped out goal made a big difference as Colorado eventually tied things up in the second period and eventually won when another B’s goal was amazingly taken off the board in the third.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak was pretty damn strong again for the second game in a row. It was Pastrnak who scored the first goal in a dominant first period when he crashed home a pass from Brad Marchand. Pastrnak should have had a nifty assist when he no-look, backhanded a setup to DeBrusk all alone in front of the net. The second play was wiped out by a coach’s challenge for offside, but Pastrnak still finished with a goal, two points, 10 shot attempts and two takeaways in a whopping 21:59 of ice time. There will be plenty of reasons why the Bruins ran out of gas in the third period, but Pastrnak bears zero responsibility whatsoever for Boston falling on the losing end of things on Thursday night. He was brilliant.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of points that the Bruins ended up with on the four-game trip through Dallas, Arizona, Vegas and Colorado, which is an extremely positive way to start the season even if it ended with a third-period faltering vs. the Avs.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You almost can't believe it. It gets taken away from you twice. It's pissing me off." –Jake DeBrusk talking to reporters in Colorado about being in the middle of two Bruins goals that were wiped off the board by video replay.

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 8-2 win over the Blackhawks in preseason finale

Talking Points from the Bruins' 8-2 win over the Blackhawks in preseason finale

Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 8-2 rout of the Blackhawks in their preseason finale Saturday. 

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak only played 13:38 in the final dress rehearsal for the regular season, but he looked more than ready while striking for a hat trick in the final preseason game. Granted it was only against Chicago’s AHL team, but Pastrnak teed up a power play blast from the circle, scored on a breakaway and sniped one from a bad angle after rocking Blackhawks D-man Chad Krys with a big hit behind the Chicago net. Pastrnak finished with three goals, four points, a plus-2 rating and four shots on net while completely breaking the game open with the preseason hat trick. It sure feels like No. 88 is ready for the season to get started.

BLACK EYE: This has to be a team effort for the Chicago Blackhawks, who barely brought an NHL player on the trip to Boston and appropriately got smoked while giving up seven goals. The goalies got lit up, the Blackhawks penalty kill was decimated in the first period by the Bruins and physically they were dominated as well with Brad Marchand putting the punctuation mark on in the third period when he tackled Matthew Highmore after an attempted slew-foot of the B’s agitator. While it clearly left the Bruins home fans happy to see preseason hat tricks from both Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak, it didn’t provide much competition for the Bruins with five days to go until the regular season.

TURNING POINT: It was the first period when the Bruins got three power play chances and scored a pair of goals after Bruce Cassidy had lamented that the B’s weren’t getting much of a workout for their man advantage during the preseason. Once the Bruins had poured on four goals after the first period was over, there wasn’t much left for the Blackhawks or the B’s to do except play out the string for the rest of the game. The Bruins put this one away early and left little doubt that their best players are dialed in and ready for the regular season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk was another player that’s been solid in the preseason, but truly exploded in the final tune-up for the regular season. DeBrusk finished with his first hat trick “in about 10 years” to go along with David Pastrnak’s hat trick, and then totaled four points to go along with five shot attempts and a plus-4 in little more than 13 minutes of ice time in the exhibition game. DeBrusk tipped pucks in front of the net on the power play, finished set-ups from center Charlie Coyle and did plenty of encouraging things around the net to show that he’s ready for the regular season. It was a bonus to see him do it with Coyle, a guy that he hasn’t played a lot with over the last two seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the number of goals in the preseason for Jake DeBrusk, who looks ready to make up for last spring’s disappointing performance in the playoffs.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’ve got a guy.” –David Pastrnak, when asked where he got his wild suit that he wore to the game that included birds, fish and paisley designs.

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in preseason

Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in preseason

Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 OT win over the Flyers in their preseason home opener. 

GOLD STAR:  Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk certainly feel great about the way his season ended last year, but he started things off with a bang this year in the preseason. DeBrusk potted the overtime game-winner when he crashed the front of the net and pushed in a rebound of a Brad Marchand shot during a 4-on-3 power play for the Bruins in overtime. DeBrusk was strong throughout the game with five shots on net to go along with the goal in 16 plus minutes of ice time, and even more so when you considered that his regular center man, David Krejci, was knocked out just two shifts into the game for the Black and Gold.

BLACK EYE: It was a rough one for David Krejci, who exited the game after two shifts in the first period after a collision with Shayne Gostisbehere where it looked like his right knee buckled after a bit of a hip check. Krejci wasn’t on the bench to start the second period and certainly didn’t want to start his preseason out this way. The good news is that Bruce Cassidy said postgame that it was more precautionary than anything else, but it’s never good to see any of the aging core group dinged up during the largely meaningless preseason.

TURNING POINT: It looked like the Bruins were going to go quietly into that good night trailing 3-2 late in the third period, but instead the fourth line stepped up and allowed the Bruins to win it in overtime. Sean Kuraly made the play feeding to a wide-open Chris Wagner in transition, and Wagner did the rest dangling the puck through Brian Elliott’s five-hole for the game-tying score late in the third period. It shows once again the kind of possibilities that the Bruins will have this season if they can figure out the second and third line mix because the top line and the fourth line are already good to go for the Black and Gold.  

HONORABLE MENTION: Jakub Lauko only played nine minutes in the game, but he was dynamite for the Bruins while scoring the first goal of the game. Lauko threw a puck to himself off the boards while blowing by Flyers defenseman Mark Friedman, and then he sniped a wrist shot from a bad angle under the bar past a stunned Elliott. It was Lauko’s only shot on net in the game, but it was a memorable one as it spoke to the dazzling skills that the youngsters bring to the table each time he’s on the ice. The lack of ice time for him tonight, though, speaks to the very slim chances he has of making the team given the older, experienced players around him.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of assists for David Backes in a solid night for him as the 35-year-old continues to fight for a job with the Bruins amidst some stiff competition at the forward position.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t think it’s serious. [We] felt it was better to not push through it. We’ll know more [on Tuesday].” –Bruce Cassidy speaking about the lower-body injury to David Krejci, which sounded precautionary more than anything else.

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