Going into Sunday night’s game against the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins were down four of their six Opening Night defensemen. It was going to be tough for the Bruins to try and secure at least one point, never mind two. Well, that thought ended less than 10 minutes into the game.
The Capitals blitzed rookie goalie Dan Vladar with three goals in the first 9:42 of the game on their way to a 3-0 rout of the Black and Gold at the TD Garden. Here are some low lights from the Bruins’ 12th loss of the season in regulation, before general manager Don Sweeney started wheeling and dealing late into the night.
- Before the game, never mind the defensive pairings, what was with the line combinations? Craig Smith was dropped from the first line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron down to the third line with Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle. The second line featured Nick Ritchie, David Krejci, and Karson Kuhlman. It seemed like Marchand-Bergeron-Smith had something going.
- Was changing up the lines a way to try and get Pastrnak going? Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say it didn’t work out.
- Where has the Boston power play gone? Despite Craig Smith’s third-period goal, they went 1-for-4 against the Capitals and did not look very good. The man advantage is a big part of what the Bruins do on offense and it’s severely missing production.
- On the flip side, the Caps took full advantage of the Bruins penalties. They went 3-for-4 through the first two periods, which helped to put the game away after 40 minutes. The Black and Gold did not look anything like the top-ranked PK unit in the league.
- How bad are the injuries on defense? Rookie Jack Ahcan, playing in just his second NHL game, was the defensemen on the power play. That’s nothing against Ahcan, but it tells you the state of the blue line.
It’s time to move on to the trade deadline this afternoon at 3 p.m. The Bruins already acquired forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres and defensemen Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators.