Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-0 loss to the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Sunday night.
GOLD STAR: Matthew Tkachuk was involved in both of the plays early in the game as he notched the secondary assist on Johnny Gaudreau’s goal in the first period, and then it was Tkachuk’s tester shot off the side boards that created a big rebound that Noah Hanifin was able to crash backdoor. Tkachuk finished with two assists and a plus-2 rating in 16:42 of ice time, six shot attempts, two hits and a blocked shot in a truly busy night for the Flames pot-stirrer. Quite honestly, Calgary’s best players brought it in the final game of a long seven game road trip as Johnny Gaudreau had an excellent game as well in Boston.
BLACK EYE: Just a poor, poor performance teamwide on Sunday night for the rare team black eye. Jeremy Swayman battled with his rebound control early in the game, Charlie McAvoy finished a minus-3 and opened up Calgary scoring chances with some of his decision-making and Boston’s best players just couldn’t get anything going offensively. The coup de grace as a third period power play when they were still trailing just a two-goal game, and they proceeded to fail at setting things in the offensive zone before allowing a 2-on-none shorthanded breakaway where Swayman made three saves before Andrew Mangiapane finally swept the puck into the net for the backbreaker to make it a three-goal deficit. Just a terribly executed sequence that put an exclamation point on a really bad night for the Black and Gold.
Hard to believe the Bruins were on the power play here…true story pic.twitter.com/uThenTxYny
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) November 22, 2021
TURNING POINT: The Bruins simply never got going in this one as it was a quick goal in the opening minutes from the Flames that put the B’s on their heels. Juuso Valimaki threw a shot from the point that ricocheted off Jeremy Swayman and landed squarely on Johnny Gaudreau’s stick at the face-off circle for the quick follow attempt. That gave Calgary a quick lead and seemed to really deflate a Bruins team that had emptied the tank on Saturday night in Philadelphia. Once the B’s were chasing in the game against a Calgary Flames team playing rugged, hardnosed and hustling defense, it was all but over as Calgary really wrapped the stranglehold in the shutout win over Boston.
HONORABLE MENTION: Definitely Dan Vladar, who wasn’t exactly pushed hard by a Bruins team that didn’t have their foot on the gas pedal very often during the game. But he made all the saves he needed to, showed a better glove hand than he had at times with the Bruins and controlled his rebounds in a way that rookie Jeremy Swayman didn’t at the other end of the ice. Vladar now improves to 4-0-1 on the season with stellar overall numbers behind a Calgary hockey club that’s absolutely playing suffocating Sutter defense right now. Vladar’s performance just amplifies those fans that wonder why the Boston Bruins didn’t more seriously consider keeping both Swayman and Vladar as their goalie tandem to start this year if they knew Tuukka Rask might potentially be waiting in the wings in January. Vladar finished with the strong 27 saves in the shutout win in his return to Boston, his second shutout in five games with the Flames this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of losses for rookie Jeremy Swayman at TD Garden after Calgary touched him up for four goals on Sunday night in a poor all-around effort from the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “The top guys did not have a good game in any area. The power play hurt us. If anything, it generated momentum for [Calgary].” –Bruce Cassidy with a succinct and accurate analysis of the ugly shutout loss for the Boston Bruins.