Here’s the BHN Talking Points after a tough 2-1 overtime loss for the Boston Bruins to the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon.
Devils rookie Egor Sharangovich scored the OT winner with just over two ticks left in the extra flame to hand the Bruins their first loss of the season. The Devils also got another goal from the Bruins’ and their fans’ new Public Enemy No. 1, Miles Wood when he made it 1-0 Devils 16:15 into the first period. The Bruins tied the game on a Patrice Bergeron shorthander at 17:16 of the middle frame. After scoring a goal and the shootout winner in the season opener Thursday, Bruins winger Brad Marchand made a beautiful play to Bergeron for the tying goal.
The Bruins are now 1-0-1 and will head to Long Island to face the New York Islanders Monday at 5 PM ET at the Nassau Coliseum.
GOLD STAR: I gotta be honest, after the first 19 seconds of this game, I didn’t think I’d be giving Miles Wood a Gold Star here but I’ll give this former Boston College winger Wood credit, after taking his well-deserved beating from Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, he was a factor in all facets of the game. He was able to score his second goal in two games and also knocked Bruins winger Ondrej Kase out of the game with a high -but clean – hit midway through the second period. Wood was once again a thorn in the Bruins side, getting between the Bruins defensemen and Bruins goalie Jaro Halak, creating havoc and distraction. This former Nobles School winger definitely cooked a full course dinner in the collective heads of the Bruins. He now has four goals in four career games against the Boston Bruins.
BLACK EYE: As Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy pointed out after the game, the Bruins are not generating enough quality first chances. Yes, they had 28 shots Saturday and 37 on Thursday, and no doubt that Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood was in the zone stopping 61 of 65 shots in six periods of regulation, and two overtimes. That being said, the Bruins appear to be getting too cutesy out there and looking for the pretty play instead of the right and only play.
TURNING POINT: Well, given it was the overtime winner, Sharangovich’s first career goal is the turning point but in terms of where the Boston Bruins’ game turned around, it had to be Bergeron’s shortie. After that, the Bruins were rejuvenated and attacked more.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kevan Miller. That didn’t take long! After Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was on the receiving end of goalie interference calls and constant liberties by New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood, the Boston Bruins promised they would not let that become a trend for the Devils or any other opponents. Just 19 ticks into regulation today, Miller made sure to make that message clear to Wood, the Devils and the East Division by absolutely pummeling the Devils speedy winger. Give credit to Wood for taking the beating and now let’s see if he and his teammates got the message. Wood did score later but he did so within the parameters of the rules and respect.
Kevan Miller drops the gloves with Miles Wood. pic.twitter.com/rxTtWD8eJY
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 16, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: If the first two games are any indication, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is not just going to lean heavily on top defenseman Charlie McAvoy, but also his new shutdown d-man, Brandon Carlo. As pointed out in my first period thoughts on the BHN Facebook page, McAvoy was a minutes eater (25:33) in the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout winner Thursday and that was the case again Saturday as he finished at 27:34. Carlo meanwhile went up from 16:28 Thursday to 19:57 Saturday.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“We’re not shooting enough and we’re not going off the first shot. We’re not doing enough to create first chances.” – Bruce Cassidy when asked why the Bruins don’t have a 5-on-5 goal yet.