Bruins Beat: Bruins Season and Poitras Start Well

Tuesday night’s Bruins game with the Chicago Blackhawks could’ve easilybeen billed as ‘The Gunfight At The United Center,’ dueling participants being NHL’s 2023 #1 pick, 18-year-old Connor Bedard for the Blackhawks, versus Matt Poitras, Boston’s 19-year-old, 2022 second-round pick. When the smoke had cleared it was obvious that Poitras emerged as the winner, with a goal (#3) and three shots on net, and Bedard’s stats showing a single hit, with zero shots and points, although the youngster did score a goal in the first period that was waved off due to a review that indicated the play was offside. The NHL rule regarding Poitras is that the Bruins have nine games in which to play Poitras and then must decide if they place him or their NHL roster, it not, he must be returned to his junior team. Poitras’ play in the six games to date, and his three goals in his last two games is  making it very hard for the Bruins to even think of returning him to his junior team.

Boston’s 3-0 victory over Chicago upped their record to 6-0-0, their best start in over 80-years (1937-38), to start a season. At the conclusion of the game it was comforting to know that Jakub Lauko avoided a catastrophe when he received a cut near his eye following contact with his face and the skate of Chicago’s Jason Dickson in a third period collision along the boards. Coach Jim Montgomery when asked, reported that Lauko was good and will be fine. Reflecting back to a recent Bruins’ press conference when management and players were on the same page stating: “We’re not going to be the same team,” that was a statement that became a fact rather quickly. While their record last year at this time was similar, the goal-scoring to date has been compacted to seven players: David Pastrnak (5), Brad Marchand (4), Matt Poitras (3), James van Riemsdyk (3), Trent Frederic (2), Morgan Geekie (1) and Pavel Zacha (1). Not to be overlooked has been the continuation from last season’s solid performance in goal for the Bs. Linus Ullmark boasts a record of 3-0-0, with a 1.00 goals-against-average and a    .962 save-percentage. Jeremy Swayman had mirror-like stats with his 3-0-0 start to the season, a goals-against average of 1.34 and a .957 save-percentage. Fan reaction questioned the loss of the multiple free agents signed at the end of last season, probably included…what do we do now that we have lost the talented free agents Boston had picked up last season. The answer is a 6-0-0 start that feature a half-dozen wins, with four coming on the recent West Coast trip. A fact that brought back fond memories of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman in a photo captioned – “Who me worry?” The three stars of Tuesday’s game featured Zach #1, Swayman #2 and Poitras #3.

Bruins return to TD Garden ice tonight (Thursday 7:00pm) to host the Anaheim Ducks. Following Boston’s 3-1 victory over the Ducks on their recent West Coast trip. Saturday (7:00pm) the red-hot Detroit Red Wings will provide the opposition, followed by visits from the Florida Panthers – Monday (7:00pm) and close out the four-game homestand by hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7:00pm). This homestand will be a good test for the Bs, as the competition will be turned up a notch as several top teams come to town.

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