There was plenty of impressive play in the Bruins’ preseason home opener against the Islanders. The Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley line worked their magic from start to finish, with fantastic play around the net accounting for three of Boston’s six goals.
Bergeron and Peverley each registered three points, as Marchand fell just short of the dynamic duo registering two points of his own; all three players were also impressive with their special teams play.
This is an intriguing line heading into the regular season, and one we might just see open things up here at the TD Garden on October 6th against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Boston’s power play also showed some hopeful signs of improvement after their dismal play all of last year, netting two goals, and moving the puck quite well with each and every opportunity.
The forwards did a tremendous job of working the puck around the boards, as the defensemen continually put pucks on net, creating rebound chances for the cycling forwards. Hopefully the improvements to the power play helps from a confidence standpoint, and the bruins can head into the season feeling good about their special teams play.
Youngster defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Steven Kampfer were each impressive with their puck moving ability at times throughout this game.
While they did turn the puck over periodically, they were both delivering a solid tape-to-tape first pass, often getting low, hard shots on net, as well. However, each will need to lessen their turnover ratio if they ever want a chance to help out the big club.
Overall, the story of tonight’s game was the outstanding play of Boston’s second line featuring Marchand-Bergeron-Peverley. These guys were outstanding tonight, and could very well be playing together in the foreseeable future.
Many of the Bruins’ veteran defensemen we’re struggling early on in the game to distribute successful breakout passes.
This rust seemed to dissipate as the game continued, but it is an aspect of the game the Bruins must continually work on to get right.
While Zach Hamill played strong in the offensive zone, possessing David Krejci like hockey knowledge/vision, making smart, simple plays, creating offense for all of his line mates; he struggled mightily in his own zone, turning the puck over at times, and having a real tough time making that smart pass from a defensive standpoint.
Hamill will have to polish his defensive game immensely if he’s ever going to break through the logjam Boston has at the center position.
Besides ripping one eye-opening wrist shot off the post in the third period, rookie winger Jared Knight struggled throughout the entire preseason game.
He never really seemed to get his game going offensively or defensively, turning the puck over up and down the ice, and failing to create any scoring chances with line mates David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
Overall, considering the six to three victory over the Islanders, it was a well-played game by the Bruins, and the good most certainly outweighs the bad. The future looks bright.
From the Room:
Rich Peverley on chemistry with line mates Bergeron and Marchand, as well as the current battle for openings in the line up.
David Krejci on what is was like to get unexpectedly jumped, and the improved success of Boston’s power play.