The Bruins opened their 2023 preseason slate in spectacular style on Sunday, beating the Rangers, 3-0, at TD Backyard.
Brandon Bussi stopped all 29 photographs that got here his method within the victory, whereas Matthew Poitras, Jake DeBrusk, and Johnny Beecher all scored for the Bruins.
Listed here are some takeaways from Sunday’s win on Causeway Avenue.
Brandon Bussi steals the present
Jim Montgomery may solely shake his head on the podium following Boston’s 3-0 victory.
The Bruins’ bench boss, very like the 1000’s of others at TD Backyard, felt just like the Rangers lastly put themselves on the board within the third interval of play.
A superbly executed passing sequence on a New York energy play gave Rangers ahead Jonny Brodzinski an open web to fireside within the guests’ first tally of the night. Properly, an open web for no less than a millisecond.
Bussi could not have a greater cease all season than his highlight-reel snag towards Brodzinski to take a purpose off the board.
“It was unreal. Sincere to god — I believed he didn’t get it,” Montgomery stated of Bussi. “It was a terrific play by them. However the truth that he learn it? I imply, that’s a double-slot-line play. They go in at like 75% … Brodzinski put it three-quarters of the best way up the web. It wasn’t like a low glove and shot it within the glove. He went and snared it. Large time.”
In contrast to among the youthful forwards on Boston’s coaching camp roster who’re vying to crack the NHL roster this fall, Bussi has a bit extra resistance in entrance of him on the depth chart. Such is the case for a group that at present deploys arguably the very best 1-2 punch within the web in Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
However as the subsequent man up, Bussi has shortly elevated his inventory as Boston’s most promising goalie prospect with only one full 12 months of service time within the professional ranks.
“I imply credit score to their energy play, they have been snapping the puck round, and generally you simply obtained to compete and get somewhat luck,” Bussi stated of his save on Brodzinski. “So I’m fairly lucky I made that save and numerous credit score to the group for the protection in entrance of me, it was a terrific effort tonight.”
Contemplating what Bussi showcased over 32 video games final 12 months in Windfall, luck is probably not the first part in Bussi’s sterling play.
Signing with Boston in March 2022 after a standout profession at Western Michigan, Bussi went 22-5-4 final season in Windfall with a .924 save share and a shutout.
Alongside together with his cease on Brodzinski, Bussi completed with 10 saves on the Rangers’ 10 high-danger scoring probabilities on Sunday.
Even with Ullmark and Swayman entrenched within the NHL roster, Bussi stands to be the subsequent man up if wanted this season, and might be tabbed as Windfall’s No. 1 possibility in web in 2023-24.
For the entire discuss of Boston’s lackluster prospect pool, the group has had no scarcity of prime goalie prospects rise by means of the methods over the previous twenty years. Bussi may very nicely be the subsequent in line.
“Only a wild expertise general,” Bussi stated of drawing an ovation from the Backyard crowd. “I don’t suppose I’ve ever performed in entrance of a crowd that excited, that a lot power. And it’s solely preseason. It’s a testomony to how nice our followers are. And it was only a tremendous thrilling expertise to do it right here for the primary time.”
Matthew Poitras makes robust first impression
Matthew Poitras made his intentions very clear earlier this month when requested about his mindset going into coaching camp.
“I’m gonna try to do my finest to make it onerous to ship me again to Juniors,” Poitras said.
The 19-year-old middle has a tricky job in entrance of him in terms of sticking within the NHL ranks. If he can’t break camp with Boston, he’ll be despatched again all the way down to junior hockey to marinate for one more full 12 months.
However in his first style of preseason motion, Poitras made essentially the most of his alternative. Skating as one among Boston’s top-six facilities alongside NHL veterans in Jake DeBrusk and James van Riemsdyk, Poitras scored a power-play purpose and added a main helper on a DeBrusk wrister throughout Sunday’s win.
Even with a standout efficiency from the promising pivot, Montgomery did urge warning in terms of setting unfair expectations for a participant who has logged simply two full years of junior hockey on his resume.
“It’s a giant problem,” Montgomery stated of Poitras making the group. “As a result of it’s a person’s league on the market. He didn’t see any NHL tonight. So it’s a extremely good begin, however that’s what he must do, proper?
“He performed a extremely good recreation, he’s gonna get one other recreation and he retains enjoying, he’ll proceed to get rewarded. It’d be a pleasing shock if he was in a position to do it.”
Poitras may provide the best upside amongst Bruins ahead prospects, together with his worth magnified to this franchise given their dearth of succesful middle prospects within the wake of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci’s retirements.
However even when he’s one other 12 months or two away from legit NHL reps, the Bruins appear to be dedicated to giving Poitras an prolonged run this fall with some confirmed professional expertise.
It now falls on him to drive Boston’s hand in terms of leapfrogging dozens of professional gamers on the depth chart.
Johnny Beecher states case for 4C position
Johnny Beecher closed out the scoring for the Bruins within the second interval, utilizing his spectacular skating skill to separate within the impartial zone and beat Jonathan Fast clear.
It was an added enhance of confidence for Beecher, whose main knock towards his recreation has normally revolved round his muted offensive manufacturing with Windfall (28 factors in 70 profession AHL video games).
Any extra scoring punch will additional elevate Beecher’s odds of creating the professional roster in October.
However the easiest way for Beecher to earn a job on Boston’s checking line will include him profitable faceoffs and utilizing his mix of pace and measurement (6-foot-3, 209 kilos) to trigger havoc on the forecheck.
The 2019 first-round decide did the soiled work on a bodily line with A.J. Greer and Patrick Brown, profitable 7-of-11 faceoffs to associate with two hits and two takeaways.
The competitors for Boston’s fourth-line middle position remains to be extensive open in camp, with Beecher’s physicality and skating expertise making him an intriguing possibility for a possible bruising grouping alongside Milan Lucic.
Very similar to the New York Jets’ offense, the Rangers had some hassle attending to the place they needed to go on Sunday. Sunday’s preseason opener was initially set for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop, however it was pushed again to five:45 p.m. resulting from journey points involving the Rangers.
Each Jakub Zboril and Patrick Brown left Sunday’s recreation earlier resulting from accidents. Montgomery stated that each exits have been extra precautionary. Zboril is vying for a spot as Boston’s seventh D, whereas Brown could be Beecher’s prime competitors for that 4C position.
Thought ahead Anthony Richard had a powerful recreation when it got here to producing O-zone probabilities, with the 26-year-old skater almost beating Fast with a backhand shot within the first interval. Richard, who scored 30 objectives and posted 67 factors in 60 video games with Laval (AHL) final season, could possibly be an influence ahead for the P-Bruins this winter.
The 2 former Chicago blueliners that the Bruins acquired of their June deal involving Taylor Corridor and Nick Foligno each performed on Sunday.
Ian Mitchell logged 19:14 of ice time however was additionally whistled for 2 penalties, whereas Alec Regula skated for 21:11 and helped safe Bussi’s shutout by sweeping a puck off the purpose line. Probably the most poised D pair all night may need been the duo of Reilly Walsh and Michael Callahan, particularly when it got here to shutting down performs and transferring the puck with tempo.
Even with three photographs on purpose, it was a little bit of a quiet evening for Fabian Lysell. The Bruins’ 2021 first-round decide has evident talent, however appears to battle at occasions in terms of selecting his battles, particularly towards bigger skaters. A few of that fearlessness is commendable, however not when it results in a turnover or ill-advised move.
A.J. Greer, who can also be combating for a roster spot, dropped the gloves with Ben Harpur late within the third interval.
Boston will proceed its preseason schedule on Tuesday with a matchup towards the Sabres on Tuesday evening. Puck drop from Buffalo is ready for 7 p.m.
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