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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Fall Short In Preseason Opener, 2-1

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Here are the Talking Points for the Boston Bruins in their 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in their preseason debut on Saturday night.

GOLD STAR: Jakub Zboril was in his first action since coming back from last season’s knee surgery and looked excellent for the Black and Gold. He was probably the best overall Boston Bruins player in the game with good transition passes to move the puck and an efficient, great two-way game where he logged over 25 minutes as the top D-man. He didn’t get on the scoreboard, but had set up a number of scoring chances with his passing and point shots while finishing with five shot attempts and one hit in a busy game. Given that Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk are missing for the first month of a season, it’s important to see Zboril this good, this quickly as the Bruins are going to need minutes from him to open the season. He was by far the best news coming out of this preseason opener.

BLACK EYE: The lack of finish for all the Boston Bruins players was apparent in the opener. Top young prospects like Fabian Lysell and Johnny Beecher couldn’t finish on their chances, and a quick whistle robbed Jack Studnicka of what looked like a good goal in the first period. Similarly, Jake DeBrusk missed the outside of the net on a chance early in the game and Jakub Lauko couldn’t finish off a couple of plays before burying one from the high slot. That manifested into an 0-for-6 on the power play for the Boston Bruins over the course of the game and a lot of missed opportunities for a B’s team that had stretches where they controlled play and got great chances against the Flyers.

TURNING POINT: The real turning point for the Boston Bruins was getting four power play chances and outshooting Philly by a 16-7 margin in the first period, but not being able to scratch out a goal in that 20 minutes. Once the Flyers made it through the first period in a scoreless game, it really opened things up for them to take the lead and force the Boston Bruins into playing catchup hockey. And as we all know, catchup hockey is losing hockey. The Bruins had plenty of chances early in this one to take control and they just couldn’t do it without the star power in a young exhibition season lineup.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jakub Lauko had some good and bad moments. He missed the net on a point blank chance early in the game that could have given the Boston Bruins an early lead, and was part of a number of B’s players that couldn’t light the lamp with some really good chances. But he chipped away at it and finally buried a shot from the high slot in the third period to make it a 1-1 game before the Flyers finally put it away. Lauko is a guy that needs to make a leap this season and he did a good job with the goal, four shots on net, five shot attempts and four hits in a pretty typical Lauko effort in an active 12:45 of ice time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of registered hits for Chris Wagner, who was excellent after dressing for the preseason opener as he vies for a fourth line spot on this team.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Looking for them to continue to make plays,” said Montgomery. And then second and third effort on pucks, they’ve been doing a good job of both those things.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on what he was looking for out of his young players headed into the preseason opener.

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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Ernest King

Great to see Zboril [Little Z] pick it up where he left off last season previous to his season ending injury…With McAvoy and Grzelyk out for extended periods of time, It’s crucial to the Bruins to have Zboril getting rid of some rust and having such a great start even if its against mostly AHLer’s and prospects..

Rick W Murray

Zboril was okay, Beecher, Lysell, the next Krecji Studnicka didn’t exactly set the place on fire. Pre season or nor it goes to show how weak our prospect pool really is. And G’s sake take Foligno off the ice get him to run the Zambini machine or something he is utterly hopeless.

Ernest King

I disagree Rick..Bruins already have a Zambini driver so Foligno cant take his job nor can he take a rookie/prospects job..Give him a mop and broom, ANYTHING as long as he’s not holding a hockey stick!!!

Me

But wait, Foligno’s healthy and in shape! And the fans yawned…….

Clickclack

Overall I think this ugly style of hockey is what Bruins fans can expect to see this year. Get ready to gouge your eyes out as it’s exactly the boring stuff we saw out of the Stars for the last few seasons!
That’s what happens when you take your Jack Adams winning coach, who led the team to the president’s trophy and cup final, and replace him with a guy who’s hovered around .500% his entire head coaching career in the NHL!
Take Sweeney with you when you go Jim!!

Jimmy Murphy

Where am I going?

Clickclack

Sorry Jim, I meant the coach. When he gets fired he can take Sweeney with him.

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