Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman made a career-high 42 saves for his third career shutout and the Boston Bruins earned a gut-check 2-0 win in Nashville Thursday after a week filled with adversity.
Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk scored his fourth goal of the season on a powerplay 14:38 into the third period and Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo got his second of the season 30 ticks into the second period.
Here’s your BHN Talking Point:
GOLD STAR: Jeremy Swayman – Swayman looked like the Swayman that shined down the stretch run last season when he went 7-3-0 with a 1.50 GAA, a .945 save percentage, and two shutouts. His third shutout couldn’t have come at a better time for the struggling and embattled Bruins who went through a maelstrom of controversy and adversity this past week. Swayman was in a zone throughout but was absolutely clutch against a Predators powerplay 6:04 into the third period. The rookie netminder stopped all five Nashville shots on their powerplay and it was clear the Predators were deflated and frustrated for the rest of the game as they lacked discipline and handed the Boston Bruins two powerplays in less than two minutes midway through the final frame.
BLACK EYE: Zboril injury – When Zboril went down with an apparent knee injury early in the second period, the Boston Bruins had to be asking each other ‘what next?’ after the tumultuous week they had. Bruins winger and leader Brad Marchand was suspended on Monday afternoon and then Monday night, news broke that DeBrusk had requested a trade. On Tuesday morning, head coach Bruce Cassidy was placed in COVID protocol and on Tuesday night the Bruins lost 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings. Now, they were suddenly having to play minus a defenseman not even halfway through the game. Give the remaining defensemen and forward who came back to help credit though as they helped Swayman earn the shutout. The blue line also provided some offense with Carlo’s second period goal. Zboril was ruled out of the game late in the third and there was no update postgame on his status for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at TD Garden.
Jakub Zboril had to be helped to the dressing room after this hit: pic.twitter.com/5CujIXnFHT
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) December 3, 2021
TURNING POINT: This was a toss-up between DeBrusk’s first period goal and potentially Swayman’s five saves on the Predators’ third period powerplay but since I don’t dislike DeBrusk or his Mom – as so many on Twitter claim I do – let’s give it to the winger who wants out. If he wasn’t going to answer the bell and face the media, then he had to do so on the ice to help increase his trade value and help his current teammates who have had his back this week. DeBrusk did just that and I am happily spreading the mustard on the crow. That first period goal set the tone and let his teammates know that he hadn’t quit on them.
Nasty snipe short side for Jake DeBrusk. Frustrating part of his game is that you’ll see this in shorts bursts, but he’s been unable to sustain it. A few of these certainly won’t hurt his trade value pic.twitter.com/zku1lsXn9j
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 3, 2021
HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk – After a week in which he found himself under fire from Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely, Bruins fans, and media that cover the team after requesting a trade, DeBrusk finally answered the bell with easily his best game of the season. As mentioned above, DeBrusk’s early goal was a tone-setter but what was arguably just as impressive was his skating and grit. When asked about DeBrusk’s trade request and why things haven’t worked out for the 2015 14th overall pick in Boston, Neely referenced how DeBrusk used to be ‘Greasy Jake’ playing with more of a mean streak and hustle. Well, DeBrusk was definitely ‘greasy’ on Thursday, driving to the net and paying the price for his scoring chances. He was also skating hard which is a key ingredient to his game. He was engaged from his first shift and finished with a goal, two shots, and one hit in 10:48 TOI.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – Two former Predators playing on the second line and the second powerplay unit. The coaching staff was brilliant in putting them together against their former team as clearly they’d have motivation against their former team. It paid off as both assisted on DeBrusk’s powerplay goal.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I felt between my posts I wasn’t chasing pucks and a week of practice between starts, I was really focused” – Swayman on his performance.