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.
Some poised, confident hockey from Jakub Zboril in the early going. pic.twitter.com/wdfnkpD0zx
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) September 24, 2022
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.
Jakub Lauko ties things up.
1-1 game. pic.twitter.com/0ohIkhfxEK
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) September 25, 2022
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.