Boston Bruins Forward Noel Acciari Scores First NHL Goal Against the Nashville Predators
It took 45 games, but Noel Acciari has finally scored his first career NHL goal. Coming with just four minutes remaining in the Boston Bruins’ Tuesday night game against the Nashville Predators, Acciari picked a good time to pot his first goal, re-instating the Bruins two-goal lead and helping them continue their fight to the playoffs.
Acciari has played in just 24 games this season in Boston, recording one goal and four points in that time. Though he’s proven to be a physical player who will do what it takes for his team, the Bruins have opted to use Acciari primarily in the AHL for a variety of reasons this season. First and foremost comes the playoff factor. If the Bruins want to make the postseason, they’ll need to ice their best team every game – Acciari has proven he can play in the NHL on a nightly basis, but with other bottom-six players capable of logging big minutes, Acciari has become a secondary option.
Playing his Role
In addition to the Bruins wanting experience and consistency in their lineup each night, it’s also important to consider the development of the Bruins future. Acciari could be a long-term piece in the Bruins’ bottom-six. As such, developing him in the AHL where he can be afforded more minutes, and more importantly, more meaningful minutes.
With Tim Schaller remaining on the sideline due to injury, Acciari should continue to hear his name called each game. Still, scoring goals simply isn’t his game. In 75 AHL games over the last two seasons, Acciari has scored jus 13 goals and 33 points. That includes six goals and 14 points in 30 games this season to go along with 11 penalty minutes. Lighting up the scoresheet simply isn’t his game. Throwing his body around and generating energy, however, are things that Acciari excels at.
The Bruins ultimately won the game against the Predators 4-1 in a game they needed to win. At the conclusion of the Bruins game, the Toronto Maple Leafs were leading the Florida Panthers by a score of 3-1. While the Bruins were guaranteed to remain in a playoff spot with a win, keeping up with the rest of the Atlantic Division playoff race will be important moving forward. The Bruins now have 86 points with just six games remaining on the season. The playoffs are within reach, but everybody – Acciari included, will need to step up and play their role. So far, so good.