Morning Free Association: He Holds Sway, Man

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The Boston Bruins certainly know how to be dramatic. They also know how to be frustrating. They certainly don’t know how to play a full 60 minutes at times, last night being one of them. It seemed they were returning to 2014-2015 Bruins form of taking off the second period. Remember when we were so superstitious that we used to call that 20 minute time frame “Period 1B” to fool the B’s? It felt like that was exactly what we should have done last night.

In short, the Bruins wrested victory from the jaws of defeat after a first period of great play and a middle one that looked like a different team playing on terrible ice. They managed to make it up in the last frame.

Early in the day, the team announced that Kevan Miller would make his first appearance in a game in 46 days, slotting in for Steven Kampfer. Chris Wagner would take Zach Senyshyn’s place. However, just moments before the game began, the Bruins announced that top defenseman Charlie McAvoy would miss the match.

As it turns out, it’s an upper body injury and there’s no real news on it.

Steven Kampfer was back in and Kevan Miller would play on the top line replacing McAvoy. Miller would end up with the second most TOI behind Jeremy Lauzon.

This game was not really about all of that; it was about the debut of Jeremy Swayman. Like his fellow goaltender Dan Vladar, Swayman has played in his first NHL game just this year, last night even. And like Vladar, his premiere would be fantastic.

It was his play that kept the team in the game when the other 18 skaters in front of him weren’t showing up at the appropriate level of play.

The first period belonged to the Bruins. They took a 2-0 lead into intermission into the second after 2 Patrice Bergeron goals. The first put him in rarified air with other Bruins greats. The second was a powerplay goal that was sprung from a shorthanded scoring attempt by the Flyers.

The second period was when it started falling apart. While the shot total of the two teams in the first resulted in only a difference of 2 (13-11, Flyers), the second was a different story: 25-7, Flyers. It’s no wonder that Swayman bent a bit, letting in 2 goals. The first at 1:32 when Jakub Voracek beat him with a tap in, and the second from Shayne Gostisbehere – glove side from the face off circle. Both goals were within the first 4:03. Luckily, Swayman didn’t break, continuing to play excellent hockey, turning away 38 shots before the end of the second frame.

The third period was not full of the best Bruins hockey. Bruce Cassidy shortened his bench based upon those whom were putting out the best effort. Captain Patrice Bergeron had rallied the troops during the second intermission and it worked. Linemate and alternate captain Brad Marchand took the lead in short handed goals by a Bruins player with his latest effort that broke the tie. It was also the game winning goal.

The last couple of minutes of the third were tense. First, there was an intense scrum in a corner of the Bruins zone where 7 players were trying to get the puck out. It eventually squirted out to Chris Wagner, who failed to get it out. The Flyers with 6 attackers couldn’t quite make it work and eventually, Patrice Bergeron sealed off his hat trick with an insurance goal. Bruins won 4-2.

 

The Bruins have to play better on Thursday. The Capitals won’t let them make so many mistakes without paying for it.

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the german hammer

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Oooo oooo ooo the IT guy looking into my work laptop issue is named Doby!!comment image

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Hi Doby!
comment image

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

It’s really nice to see Vladar & Swayman thrive in their NHL appearances. The Bruins have been great at bringing in free agent backups, but their drafting has been fairly unsuccessful in that area until now.

I remember all the enthusiasm surrounding Malcolm Subban, and I would watch him in Providence and think “for a goaltending stud, this kid doesn’t seem to follow the puck that well”. Zane McIntyre also had the hype, but I think every game I saw him play, he lost. Meanwhile I’d see the W-B/Scranton Penguins, or the Hershey Bears, and their goaltending was always outstanding.
Now the Bruins are the team with a killer bull pen, and it is very comforting. I have to imagine that the front office doesn’t waste any resources on a goalie as a trade deadline rental after this week.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Good Morning!
What a game! That period 1B, though. What a stinker. So, i don’t think depth at the goaltender position is that big a problem. A veteran D man for insurance would be great. Grizz was interviewed between the 2nd and 3rd. He said “we need to get the puck to the forwards”. Yes, can’t score without it.

Going to play some disc golf with one of my boys (Ian).

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

A veteran D man for insurance would be great

I know a guy. Dont think the Caps will let him go, though!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Yeah, don’t really have much else to say!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Yes. After much consideration, I have decided that it is indeed “Morning”

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Morning. Well, it is hump day, as some people say. Those that dont work at weekends say it, anyway!

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

I found this thread on Swayman from Dom Tiano & Matt Porter to be interesting:

Dominic Tiano @dominictiano
Okay, I will be the one to say it: Swayman – excellent. If I had to find one fault it’s that he doesn’t absorb pucks very well. Too many times it hit him and bounced in front and he had to pounce on pucks. A team with a heavy net front could have cashed in on one of those.

Easily fixable. But with the internet only focusing on the positives, someone has to come in with the negatives. I’m not a hater. Just pointed out that it’s something to work on.

Matt Porter @mattyports
Yep. Had that problem all night. Also got spun out on second goal, left room high. I will say though … a lot to like. Athletic and confident. Even handles the puck cleanly, though I don’t think Philly forecheck made him second-guess much.

Dominic Tiano @dominictiano
All fixable though right Matt? Pointing out what we see isn’t being a hater. Though I am sure some will call us that. All in the way you watch the game.

I didn’t even notice this – just saw a lot of pucks in his face that he stopped. I couldn’t be more pleased. When I found out that McAvoy was out, I was worried that the team would play poorly in front of him (and they did for quite a while) and that we’d see another rookie meltdown like we did with Malcolm Subban, or just a thrashing like Vladar’s postseason debut vs the Lightning.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I didn’t see many terribad rebounds, TBH. He did handle the puck really well. Also, he looked like he was having fun!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

It was a joy to see, even in a period of hockey in which the skaters were in a full-blown panic mode for most of the 20 minutes.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Looked to me like he was standing quite far outside his net at times, but I thought Vladar gave up more rebounds.

They both looked great on the whole, though. Really strong.

And you’re right – he did look like he was enjoying himself.