Talking Points: No Presidents’ Trophy Yet; Preds Beat Bruins 2-1
BOSTON – A sluggish Boston Bruins team failed to lock up the Presidents’ Trophy falling 2-1 to the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
GOLD STAR: Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros did everything he could and more to keep his team alive in the race for the final Wild Card slot in the Western Conference. The Predators came into this game trailing the Winnipeg Jets by five points, with the Jets playing the Sharks in San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET. Saros finished the game with 35 saves and was especially huge early in the third period when the Boston Bruins came out firing. Boston had the first eight shots of the final frame and Saros turned away all of them. He would finish with 15 saves in the period and the only goal, a David Pastrnak goal with .3 of a second left in regulation.
BLACK EYE: There’s no doubt that the powerplay for the Boston Bruins deserves to be a Black Eye here after another dismal performance in which the Bruins went 0-for-5. However, the Black Eye for this game goes to referees Jake Brenk, and Chris Schlenker. This duo was a hot mess all night, but especially in the second period. Their first bizarro moment came 2:59 into the middle frame when they took what seemed like five minutes to call Bruins winger David Pastrnak for an obvious boarding call. Then, 8:08 later, Egor Afansyev laid a vicious cross-check to the face of Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy but only got called for a two-minute roughing penalty.
This is somehow only a two minute roughing call against Egor Afanasyev. pic.twitter.com/69rBMe4TL7
— Bear With Me (@BearWithMe_Pod) March 29, 2023
You may recall, that this past Thursday, Bruins winger A.J. Greer laid a cross-check to the face of Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Hoffman. Rightfully so, Greer was handed a five-minute major, a game misconduct, and a one-game suspension the following day. Let’s hope that the NHL Department of Player Safety reviews Afansyev’s stick work with the same vigor that they did Greer’s.
TURNING POINT: Once Nashville Predators center Cody Glass put the Nashville Predators up 1-0 with 1:49 left in the second period, the Predators went into lockdown, and as mentioned above, Saros just shut the door on the Boston Bruins.
Cody Glass with the icebreaker for the @PredsNHL! 🧊 pic.twitter.com/F4y106fUt9
— NHL (@NHL) March 29, 2023
HONORABLE MENTION: One Boston Bruins player that really showed up from start to finish in this game? You guessed it! Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron was his usual perfect self and did everything but score on Tuesday night. Bergeron finsihed the game with four shots, 1 hit, and went 11-5 at the faceoff dot.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – The Boston Bruins still need six more wins for the most regular season wins in NHL history.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Only thing I can say is that I know is that he is not cleared. That’s what I know so that report to me is false.” -Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on reports that Taylor Hall is cleared to play but can’t play because of Bruins’ cap issues.