The Boston Bruins have been the hottest team in the league over the first few weeks of the season starting with a 10-2 start and are tied at the top of the standings with the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
The Bruins started the week with a doozy win in Pittsburgh. Linus Ullmark almost earned his first loss of the season letting up 5 goals in the first 2 periods. Ullmark got his opportunity to redeem himself when Jeremy Swayman had to leave the game due to injury. The Bruins were able to complete an electric comeback to win the game in overtime 6-5.
Boston then traveled to New York to make sure the Rangers stay up at night wondering how they let the Bruins score 5 goals on their Vezina-winning goaltender. 4 of them coming in the third period in an onslaught.
Toronto came calling and Boston didn’t answer. The Bruins end their winning streak at 7 games with a 2-1 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last game of their road trip. Auston Matthews had 2 goals and Brad Marchand undressed the Toronto goaltender Ilya Samsonov on a penalty shot in the second period.
Jeremy Swayman had to be helped off the ice after coming in to relieve Linus Ullmark on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. He was seen later that night walking without crutches and Jim Montgomery said that he is week to week.
Derek Forbort had to have surgery on his finger and will be out for 4-6 weeks while he recovers.
Charlie McAvoy is eligible to come off of the LTIR list on Saturday but don’t look for his return to game action until the Bruins play the Blues next week.
Craig Smith is considered day-to-day while he recovers from his injury.
Linus Ullmark has been outstanding to start the season. The Bruins are undefeated with him in the net and they have been tested recently. Pittsburgh was a gut check to Ullmark, who let up 5 goals and was yanked in the second period. Ullmark had to go back in after Jeremy Swayman was taken out due to injury. Ullmark and the Bruins showed great mental strength by coming back to win that game. Ullmark has started the season hot, tying the franchise record for wins at 8-0-0. The last goalie to do that in a Boston sweater ended up lifting the Conn Smythe trophy in May of that year. There’s still a lot of season left but 11 games in and it doesn’t seem like the Bruins have found someone to stop them.
The Bruins announced on Friday morning that they had signed prospect Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract. That was quickly met with what can only be described as complete disgust. Miller was convicted in 2016 of bullying a developmentally challenged classmate.
Regardless of if there has been a change in attitude or not, the way this signing happened was not good business. The Bruins office has shown that an individual can do something so heinously cruel and evil to another human being and cause irreparable harm to someone as long as they can produce results for their bottom line. Fans throughout the league have taken time to show their disappointment in the Bruins organization who at one point was able to carry itself with such high regard and respect but could just throw it out the window to sign one player. A player that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that Miller is not and probably will never be eligible to play in the NHL.
My final thoughts on this whole situation are that although people deserve second chances, there is a special sect of people who do not and they do not deserve them. I believe that Mitchell is in that sect. In order to do what he did, you must have no heart. What he did was beyond wrong. there are almost no words to accurately describe his actions. If Miller had shown that he has changed in any way by using his situation to teach others about his experience then he does not deserve to touch any frozen surface let alone an NHL rink. Reports have come out that no formal apology has been given to the family affected by Miller’s bullying so I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there have been no changes. Everyone involved kept this a secret and the world had to find out through Twitter. Nobody supports this decision and it’s just wasted money because he will never even be able to play. What is really frustrating is that the Bruins front office is making the players answer for their gross negligence. If the Jacobs family is happy with this signing then they need to sell the team because nobody is going to watch them. Cam Neely and Don Sweeny do not deserve to work for the Bruins organization and honestly, they might never have been deserving of that privilege.
Player of The Week
This week’s best player was easily Hampus Lindholm. He had a career-high 4-point game on Tuesday against Pittsburgh where he scored the game-winning goal and assisted on the 3 goals that led to the tie. Lindholm also had a goal and an assist in Thursday night’s win against the Rangers in New York. It will be interesting to see how Montgomery handles his defensive pairings when Charlie McAvoy returns sometime next week. The Bruins could very well have a Norris trophy-worthy pairing on the blue line this season.