Boston Bruins week 3 roundup – There’s no goalie controversy edition

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 21: David Pastrnak
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 21: David Pastrnak /

Welcome back everyone, to the weekly Boston Bruins roundup.  It was a short two game week for the B’s, but it had plenty of talking points.

As tends to happen regularly in Boston, there was an idea floated after the Vancouver game about a goalie controversy.  Some people, like NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty, felt that when Tuukka Rask returns from his concussion, that Anton Khudobin could remain the starting goalie.  Well, after Saturday’s game, there should be no doubt that Rask is the starter going forward when he is 100%.

Shifting to the defense, Adam McQuaid went down with a broken fibula and will be out of action for around 8 weeks.  Also, Kevan Milller was seen with a cast or brace on his hand on Saturday, and missed the game against Buffalo.  They may not be the most skilled defensemen on the Bruins roster, but they are good options on the penalty kill, and will be missed for the physicality they bring to the team.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 19: Patrice Bergeron /

However, it wasn’t all doom-and-gloom.  On Thursday night, Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup to make his season debut, and it was GLORIOUS!  It was so nice having Saint Patrice back on the ice, because he always seems to make the players around him better.  Hopefully, with Bergeron back, the Bruins can finally gain some momentum, if they can stay healthy.

In regards to game action, it was a light week.  The Bruins played only two games this week, both at home in the TD Garden.  Let’s jump right in and discuss.

Game 1: Vancouver Canucks

Returning home after a terribly inconsistent road trip, the Bruins hosted the Vancouver Canucks, looking to get back in the win column.  As mentioned earlier, Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup and he made an impact early in this game.  After Derek Dorsett gave the Canucks the early lead, 31 seconds later Anders Bjork tied the game at 1 on a goal assisted by Bergeron, his first point of the season.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 19: Erik Gudbranson /

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After Erik Gudbranson ran Frank Vatrano headfirst into the boards and received a 5 minute major and a game misconduct, that’s when the Bruins took over.  In those 5 minutes, the Bruins scored 3 times.  First David Pastrnak lit the lamp, then Bjork’s second of the game, and finally David Krejci scored to make it 4-1 Bruins, about halfway through the period.  The period ended with the Bruins in total control.

Midway through the second period, Brad Marchand scored to make it 5-1 Bruins and the game was seemingly all but over.  Late in the period, however, Thomas Vanek scored his obligatory goal against the B’s on the power play to make it 5-2 Bruins.  About 30 seconds later, Bo Horvat scored to make cut the lead to 5-3 Bruins, and the tension started to rise in the game.

In the final frame, with the game somewhat hanging in the balance, the returning savior, Saint Patrice put one home on the power play.  The score was then 6-3, and that’s ultimately how the game ended.  All in all, a solid much needed victory for the Bruins.

Full Recap Here

Game 2: Buffalo Sabres

Looking for their first winning streak of the season, the Bruins faced off against the divisional rival Buffalo Sabres for the first time this season.  The Bruins got off to a flying start, with two goals from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.  These goals gave the Bruins an early 2-0 lead, which lasted through end of the 1st period.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 21: David Pastrnak /

Just 37 seconds into the middle frame, Marchand doubled up, netting his second of the game on the power play to give the B’s a 3-0 lead.  Buffalo would eventually get one back, courtesy of Jason Pominville scoring 8:00 into the second period.  However, David Pastrnak quickly answered that goal, also scoring his second of the night, restoring the 3 goal lead.  Just before the period ended, North Chelmsford, MA native Jack Eichel scored, cutting the Bruins lead to 4-2.

Entering the third, the Bruins were sitting pretty.  7 minutes into the period, however, former Bruins player, Benoit Pouliot scored against his former team to make it a one goal game.  Towards the end of the game, the Bruins just appeared to be trying to hang on.  However, as tends to happen, the Bruins faltered late and gave up the equalizer to Evander Kane.  The final frame ended tied, and both teams had earned a point.

In overtime, the Bruins were out shot 6-0 by the Sabres, and eventually gave up the game-winner to Ryan O’Reilly.  The Sabres took down the Bruins 5-4 in comeback fashion.

Full Recap Here

The Road Ahead

The Bruins play another two games this week with some Pacific division opponents.  On Thursday, the San Jose Sharks come to Boston, followed by the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.  The Bruins have had a very odd schedule so far this season.  The Bruins have only played 7 games thus far, while many other teams will be at 10 or even 11 by the time the Bruins play next.

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After going 1-0-1 (which I predicted last week), the Bruins have two tough opponents this week.  The Sharks have struggled to start the year, while the Kings have gotten off to a flying start.  The Sharks game will be their fourth game in a five game Eastern Conference road-trip for San Jose.  The Kings game will be their fifth game in a six game Eastern Conference road-trip.  That has to wear on a team, and the Bruins luck out that both are in that scenario.

As fans, these should be entertaining games.  In terms of results, I see the Bruins going 2-0-0.  I see them beating the Sharks on Thursday in regulation, and defeating the Kings in overtime on Saturday night.