It’s no secret that the Boston Bruins are off to an exceptional start. They’re tied for the most wins in the league and have the most points, sitting at a 13-1-3 record with 29 points through 17 games.
After an unfortunate loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida on Monday, the B’s finish their Sunshine State swing against the Panthers on Wednesday. These 3 players in particular are worth keeping an eye on during the game
One of the NHL’s best players will be one to watch against the Panthers. Sitting in second in the league in points with 29, David Pastrnak has been on some kind of a tear to open the season. The third star of the month in October, Pastrnak has only gone pointless in three games and is currently riding a seven-game point streak.
Against the Panthers in the postseason last year, Pastrnak had five goals in seven games. This will be the first time the Bruins have visited the Panthers home base since game six of the playoffs. Count on at least one point from number 88.
Called up at the start of the month, Mason Lohrei will be a player to watch for different reasons. Fellow left-shot defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is due back from LTIR soon, with Saturday against the Rangers being the earliest he can return.
The impending return puts Lohrei back under the coaching staff’s microscope. He picked up his first point since the game against the Dallas Stars when he got an assist against the Lightning. How Lohrei does in all facets of the game will be pivotal to the team deciding whether or not to send him back down to Providence when Grzelyck returns, or if he plays well enough, to earn a permanent roster spot.
For the first time this season, the Bruins started the same goalie in consecutive games, with the team turning to Jeremy Swayman against the Montreal Canadiens and again against the Lightning.
After the game, Jim Montgomery said that Ullmark needed a little maintenance, prompting the decision to start Swayman again. Ullmark will be worth watching for that reason alone. If anything is nagging him that impacts his performance, the Bruins will likely go the cautious route with him. We don’t know a lot about his status right now, but it’s something worth monitoring.