Monday night was supposed to be a chance for the bottom six forward candidates to prove themselves for the Boston Bruins but they were basically invisible in a 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
GOLD STAR: New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek was sensational for the Devils. He finished with 24-shot shutout and showed why the Devils acquired him and a 2022 second round pick from the Washington Capitals in exchange for their second-round draft pick (37th overall), and their third-rounder (70th overall).
BLACK EYE: The Bottom 6 candidates did not seize the moment. A.J. Greer, Marc McLaughlin, Oskar Steen, Jakub Lauko, Johnny Beecher, and Vinni Lettieri, and even Trent Frederic, did not do much to secure a spot Monday night. They may or may not get another chance in the final two preseason games on Wednesday at New York Rangers and then Saturday at TD Garden against the Devils.
Extra Black Eye: Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was clearly giving goalie Keith Kinkaid a full start Monday night and Kinkaid was answering the bell until 3:06 into the third period. That’s when he seemed to be shaken up from a shot and play down front and exited the game in apparent pain and a foggy state.
Kyle Keyser replaced Kinkaid and was solid, making five saves.
TURNING POINT: Not to be harsh here, but the turning point was basically the first period. It was clear from the get go that the Boston Bruins didn’t have it. Whether it was a late arrival in Newark and to the Prudential Center, preseason or not, this was just one of those nights. One would’ve expected a push from those bottom six candidates up front.
HONORABLE MENTION: Connor Clifton continued to have a solid training camp. Clifton clearly realizes its time for him to make a statement he can be depended on regularly in a top 6 role on the blue line. on Monday night he had four shots and four hits in 19:16 TOI.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – Amount of hits between Clifton and fellow defenseman Nick Wolff on Monday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought we gave up too much time and space all over the ice, all 200 feet of it.” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery