In the first audition for the new-look Boston Bruins defense, the youth movement looked awfully promising for the Black and Gold.
It all started at the top where Charlie McAvoy set a punishing, mistake-free tone while logging a team-high 25:33 of ice time in the B’s 3-2 shootout season-opening win over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. He thumped Miles Wood and Egor Sharangovich with punishing hits, moved the puck with economical ease, blocked a team-high three shots and played in all situations like the No. 1 defenseman he’s expected to be this year.
Matt Grzelcyk logged a Herculean 24:07 of ice time with eight shot attempts and picked up an assist while quarterbacking the power play. It was pretty clear those two will soak up the most minutes and play in each night’s key moments, even if the Bruins ideally would like the smaller Grzelcyk to settle into about 20 minutes a night during a typical 60-minute game.