A REVIVED REDEMPTION
After a disappointing finish to last year’s postseason, the Boston Bruins have started off their preseason campaign hot. Perhaps the 4-2 playoff series loss to Ottawa sparked a fuel given their current 4-1 preseason record. With just two away games left before the season opener, Boston finished the preseason undefeated on home ice. The B’s look to capture their first road win of the preseason this Thursday as they head to Philadelphia before a rematch with the Blackhawks on Saturday.
Although favorites like Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak have seen limited ice time, most the Boston core has displayed impressive upside for the coming season. In less than thirty minutes of preseason play, Bergeron has one assist and a goal of his own. Pastrnak has also found the back of the net in addition to assisting Bergeron in his third-period goal against Chicago. If the two continue to see action together, they easily present one of the more threatening lines in hockey this year.
THE HOME ADVANTAGE
On the defensive side of the puck, the B’s have been very consistent at the Garden. They have given up five goals in three games while experimenting with some different lines and skaters. Adam McQuaid had a very impressive outing against Detroit, recording three hits and two blocked shots in their 4-2 win. Zdeno Chara, who sat most of the preseason, did get some action against Philadelphia, blocking two shots and bodying the Flyers three times.
Brandon Carlo struggled a bit in his game against Detroit, as he was on the ice for both Red Wings’ goals. He bounced back a bit in his only other game versus the Flyers where he posted a +1 in the differential column. As the regular season commences, Carlo needs to stay out of the box considering he found it too frequently in just two games.
In the lone road matchup of the preseason, the B’s suffered a brutal loss to the Red Wings. After taking a 1-0 lead late in the first period, the Bruins lost all momentum early in the second. The Wings scored five unanswered goals (four in the second alone) to win 5-1 at Little Caesar’s Arena.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Although Tuukka Rask has only seen one preseason start up to this point, he made a very strong impression on Boston fans. Rask gave up just one goal in front of home fans as the Bruins edged Philadelphia 2-1 in overtime. Assuming Rask gets the nod in Boston’s final preseason games, he could have some nice momentum heading into the season opener against Nashville.
With the starters sitting most the preseason of course, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Bruins sit moving into the regular season. An impressive preseason record certainly pleases the fans, but when the Bruins take the ice against the Preds next Thursday, any speculation will be answered.