3 takeaways from the Bruins’ 4-0 loss to the Blue Jackets


Bruins

The Bruins end historic October with their last victory.

Boston Bruins’ Linus Ullmark, left forward, makes a save against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday Oct. 28, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo/Jay Laprete

The historic start to the 2022-23 campaign continues.

The second half of a straight streak without Brad Marchand (staying at home after his stellar season debut on Thursday) and David Krejci (day-to-day, upper body) hasn’t stopped the Boston Bruins from moving on to Victory Friday Night in Columbus.

Jim Montgomery’s team completed its October roster with an 8-1 record after their 4-0 rout against the Blue Jackets.

Without Marchand and Krejci, the Bruins’ scoring depth continued to shine in Friday’s victory.

Matt Grzelcyk kicked off with his slick wrist in the top corner to give the Bruins a 1-0 first-period lead.

Come the second period; a well-rested group of Blue Jackets couldn’t resist Boston’s relentless onslaught. A shorthanded count from Charlie Coyle, a breakaway scorer from Jake DeBrusk on the heels of blocking a Columbus shot attempt, and David Pastrnak getting his league-leading 16th point on a wrist shot gave the Bruins a comfortable cushion for Linus Ullmark to work with en route to his first shutout.

Here’s what we learned after the Bruins earned their best nine-game start to the season in franchise history.

“There were a lot of people counting us at the start of the summer,” DeBrusk told NESN’s Sophia Jurkstovicz postgame. “There were a few big names that weren’t in the mix. But yes, it’s historic, especially for a team like Boston. It’s pretty cool to be a part of it, and we want to continue, obviously…”

The balanced score continued.

Without Krejci and Marchand, the Bruins returned to a familiar place to close out October. Of course, they’ve gone the whole month without their best two-way defender, Charlie McAvoy.

Among major injuries, the Bruins more than made up for those significant losses in the first month of the season. They received rating contributions throughout their lineup. Only a handful of Bruins will head into November looking for their first tally.

On Friday, Grzelcyk, who missed the first week of the year following offseason shoulder surgery, became the 15th different Bruin to light the lamp.

The forward contributions started in the second after Coyle scored his second goal in as many games. The Bruins entered the locker room with a four-goal cushion after DeBrusk’s third goal of the season — on his third mid-stanza breakaway attempt — and Pastrnak’s seventh goal of the year.

Instead of giving in, the Bruins persevered to their best start in their 98-year history.

“I attribute it to the talent on our roster and how hard these guys play for each other,” Montgomery remarked in his interview with Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley.

But even a deep team like the Bruins needs top-level talent to deliver moments that set the tone.

Pastrnak’s stock continues to increase.

Ideally, the Bruins and Pastrnak would have agreed to a contract extension before opening night. Even as negotiations dragged on into the regular season, Pastrnak and general manager Don Sweeney repeatedly expressed a desire to put pen to paper.

Until then, Pastrnak will have to settle for increasing his value for his impending big payday. And now he finds himself atop the NHL scoring list with 16 points, one ahead of Edmonton’s dynamic duo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Given the early adversity facing the Bruins, Pastrnak was quick to make the case for the Hart Trophy. He finds different ways to produce with his patented one-timer on the power play and his dazzling skating traits, and he also smashes his way through traffic for fat goals in the first game.

Pastrnak has drawn attention every time the Bruins have encountered an offensive crisis in recent seasons. With Krejci and Taylor Hall flanking him on the second line and more even scoring throughout their four attacking lines, Pastrnak will only benefit from having more time and space at his disposal.

Ullmark wraps up stellar month with first shutout

Even with the hot start, the Boston D encountered a few hiccups in adjusting to Montgomery’s defensive philosophy. As the fullback gained a foothold under their new coach, the Bruins relied on their goaltending tandem of Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman to back them up whenever the defensemen found themselves in transition.

Aside from Boston’s only loss of the year at Ottawa, both Swayman and Ullmark provided stability between the pipes. But Ullmark found himself doing the heavy lifting after Montgomery pulled Swayman in the second period of that 7-5 loss to the Senators.

The Bruins’ blue line has improved since that lopsided loss to the Sens, allowing seven goals in their last five games.

Swayman bounced back with Thursday’s outing against the Red Wings. Ullmark picked up where he left off Friday night after posting his third shutout for the Bruins.

The Bruins gave Ullmark a lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Ullmark provided more key saves late in the first to keep the one-goal lead intact, ultimately setting up Boston’s three-goal second period.

Even with the game well in hand in their second straight game, Ullmark’s teammates returned the favor in the third, pounced on rare rebounds and blocked Columbus’ early shot attempts to secure Columbus’ first shutout. Boston.

“Everyone is playing the right way,” Coyle told reporters. “Third period in a row, it’s easy to let go. Linus played amazing and made some huge saves, but we kept coming. The guys block the shots at the end. It’s a 4-0 game and a back-to-back game, and the guys are still up front and doing the little things. It’s the sign of a good team, and it’s our raison d’être.



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