BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from a pretty uninspired Boston Bruins 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at TD Garden on Thursday night.
GOLD STAR: Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals in each of the first two periods to sink a Boston Bruins that simply wasn’t ready to go. Pacioretty finished with the two goals, a plus-3 rating and four shot attempts in 15:21 of ice time while providing the kind of offensive finish that the Golden Knights have lacked at points this season. It certainly had to feel good for a guy like Pacioretty, who grew up in New England had plenty of battles with the Black and Gold when he was the longtime captain of the Montreal Canadiens prior to heading to Vegas. Clearly, he was the biggest playmaker in Tuesday night’s game for either side.
BLACK EYE: A lot to go around. Jeremy Swayman allowed three goals on nine shots in the first period and then gave up a bad goal through five-hole in the second period to really put the B’s into a hold. Then there was David Pastrnak, who had three giveaways and zero shots on net while once again consistently missing the net with his shot attempts. Derek Forbort wasn’t very good either with a minus-2 and a Shea Theodore shot that appeared to bounce off him on his way to the net. The truth, though, is that the whole Boston Bruins team looked slow to react, lethargic and not at all invested in the game until it was way too late and they were already down by a couple goals.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a span of 2:15 in the first period where they were hit with a tough bounce and a tough goal allowed, and they were never able to bounce back from it. They eventually went down by three goals in the first period and Jeremy Swayman was hit up with a bad goal allowed in the second period to Pacioretty, and that was all she wrote for a Boston Bruins club that had little fight, energy or emotion after that point.
HONORABLE MENTION: As he is on many nights, Patrice Bergeron was the biggest bright spot for the Black and Gold. It was Bergeron that scored a goal in the third period that snapped the shutout after a nice Taylor Hall pass from below the goal line, and in doing so notched his 10th goal of the season in 25 games. Bergeron was also a dominant 15-of-19 from the faceoff circle and finished with five shot attempts, a hit and a blocked shot in 16:41 of ice time for the Bruins. It was clear other lines were not carrying their end of the bargain for the Black and Gold in this one, but that’s no big shocker for a B’s team that’s seen more than their share of that in recent years.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of COVID cases for the Boston Bruins, with Craig Smith and Brad Marchand both out, just a few days after playing against a Calgary Flames team that’s been ravaged with COVID-19 cases. The list is expected to grow for the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I can’t really buy into the excuses, the travel or the COVID stuff or whatever. We just need to be better.” –Taylor Hall, not going to give the Boston Bruins an easy out of coming off a West Coast trip or battling with COVID issues.
🎥 Coach Cassidy, Jeremy Swayman, and Taylor Hall meet with the media following tonight’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights: pic.twitter.com/KpuMD5AYU9
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 15, 2021