Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-0 win over the New York Rangers at TD Garden on Thursday night.
GOLD STAR: Brandon Carlo has a handful of games to get ready for the Stanley Cup playoffs after a long layoff, and Thursday night was a good one as far as warmups go. Carlo scored a goal when he banked a puck off Igor Shesterkin’s leg pad after driving the net following an offensive zone face-off win, but he was excellent all-around in his 20 plus minutes of ice time. Carlo finished with a team-high five shots on net, 10 shot attempts overall, four hits and a blocked shot while finishing with a plus-2 while making plays at both ends of the ice. Carlo looked to be very comfortable in a pairing with newcomer Mike Reilly during the game and that bodes well for both headed into the postseason.
BLACK EYE: Plenty of bad Blueshirts players up and down the New York Rangers lineup in a game where they had just seven shots on net after 40 minutes. Adam Fox was a minus-2 and didn’t have a single shot on net in 22 minutes of ice time. Mika Zibanejad was a minus-2 with just a single shot on net in an extremely invisible performance. Alexis Lafreniere has young legs and should be a help in back-to-back situations for the Rangers and had zero shots on net and a minus-2 as well. Pretty much throughout the roster, the Rangers looked like they never even wanted to get off the bus to play Thursday night’s game. It was a horrifying act of ambivalence for a professional hockey team with two points on the line and a total no-show after last night’s emotional game at MSG vs. the Washington Capitals.
TURNING POINT: Honestly, it was as soon as the puck was dropped at center ice to start the game. But literally the game was over as soon as the Perfection Line took over for a dominant puck possession shift where they held and pressured the Rangers for 40 seconds before finally breaking through. It actually looked like a power play possession because the Bruins were winning so many puck battles while the Rangers looked three steps behind. Eventually Brad Marchand wheeled around the side of the net and fed Patrice Bergeron for the deadly one-timer to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the first period, but it may as well have been 10-0 the way that the Rangers (and the Bruins) were playing. As easy a two points as an NHL team will get in the league.
HONORABLE MENTION: A 15-save shutout for Jeremy Swayman, who now has two shutouts in his first NHL starts and has won seven of those nine starts. Swayman joins Hall of Famer Frank Brimsek as one of only three Boston Bruins goaltenders to win seven of their first nine starts with the team. That’s some pretty amazing company for the young netminder and continues to clarify exactly how things are going to shake down with the goaltender for the B’s down the stretch. Tuukka Rask is obviously the No. 1 guy headed into the postseason, but Swayman is going to back him up and clearly is going to push him if anything goes sideways for Rask. Swayman wasn’t challenged in this game at all really, but the 1.44 goals against average and .946 save percentage really speak for themselves right now. Also, special nod to Jake DeBrusk for scoring to snap out of a funk he seemed to be in prior to tonight’s game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 15 – the number of shots from the New York Rangers in a pretty pathetic 60-minute “effort” from them following last night’s emotional game vs. the Washington Capitals. They had seven shots on net after two periods. Jeremy Swayman stopped all of them in a shutout effort.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “No one got hurt, so that’s one thing. You’ve got to take care of business and play to your strengths. I thought we did that.” – Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, on what Thursday night’s game did to help the Bruins prepare for the playoffs.