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Talking Points: Boston Bruins A Little Short Against Vancouver

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Boston Bruins

Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night.

GOLD STAR: Could Brock Boeser be a guy that winds up in Boston? Boeser was one of the players that the Boston Bruins famously missed out on in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft but finds himself at a crossroads in Vancouver where he might be dealt. The Bruins sure could use a skilled winger like that was on his game on Wednesday night where he scored a PP goal for the Canucks and then finished with four shots on net and eight overall shot attempts in 20 plus minutes of ice time. Boeser is looking resurgent with the coaching change in Vancouver, so perhaps he never truly hits the trade market this season. But the Vancouver winger was one of the reasons the Canucks ended up taking it in the end.

BLACK EYE: A complete nothing performance from Taylor Hall, who effectively did nothing aside from whiff on a one-timer opportunity in the third period after getting dropped from his second line spot with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith. Hall finished with zero shots on net, one giveaway and a blocked shot in 12 plus minutes of an overtime game where the left winger eventually finished on Boston’s fourth line by the end of the game. There were some that wanted Hall to be kept with David Pastrnak after they showed decent chemistry while Brad Marchand was suspended, but he doesn’t look to me like a player that deserves any special consideration from the Black and Gold right now. Hall is a player that should be providing offense all by himself instead of needing others to get him going. Time for Hall to step up and begin consistently playing better.

TURNING POINT: A terrible interference call on Brad Marchand in the second period was the difference in favor of Vancouver. Marchand and Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic were engaging in a 1-on-1 puck battle along the side boards as the puck quickly approached them and then No. 63 was whistled for interference just after he came out of the crash with the puck on his stick. The puck was close enough to the two combatants that Marchand came out of the fracas with it, but the referees didn’t see it that way and called the penalty. Predictably that led to a Vancouver PP goal after the Bruins had killed off an equally frivolous Nick Foligno penalty at the end of the first period.

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HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Jeremy Swayman, who kept the Boston Bruins in a game where they clearly didn’t have their best offensive foot forward in this game. Swayman was brilliant in the third period with 13 saves in a tight game and then made three stellar saves in overtime to make certain that things went all the way to the shootout. He was eventually beaten by JT Miller and Bo Horvat in the shootout to lose out on the extra point, but the rookie netminder was brilliant in stopping 31-of-32 shots in the first 65 minutes of the game. Swayman is now 7-4-2 with a 2.26 goals against average and .922 save percentage and is beginning to secure the lion’s share of the starts in the goaltending tandem with Linus Ullmark. Rightfully so.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 – the number of pipes and crossbars for the Boston Bruins in the last three games, including Oskar Steen off the crossbar early in Wednesday’s game and Charlie McAvoy hitting the crossbar and down into the crease before bouncing away from harm.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We had some opportunities. We passed up on some shots and I thought we could have played off the shot more. But some of that has to do with [Vancouver] too. Give credit to them.” –Boston Bruins acting head coach Joe Sacco talking underwhelming offense after the loss.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Clacker47

I agree with the take on Hall, they need more from him offensively. However I believe the real issue is that the Bruins bargain bin acquisitions in the off season are really what’s holding them back now. Also, if you are going to lose in the shootout, it better be because Bergeron and Marchand already missed, not because they’re still sitting on the bench!!

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