Bruins takeaways: Matthew Poitras continues to make case for NHL reps

Bruins

“I assumed he did a wonderful job tonight. He reveals plenty of poise with the puck.”

Philadelphia Flyers' Elliot Desnoyers (73) defends against Boston Bruins' Matthew Poitras (51) during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Boston
Matthew Poitras has continued to impress throughout preseason motion. AP Picture/Michael Dwyer

The Bruins got here up brief of their newest preseason contest on Monday evening, dropping a 3-1 loss to the Flyers at Wells Fargo Middle.

Morgan Geekie scored the lone objective of the night for the Bruins, whereas Jeremy Swayman stopped 21 of the 24 photographs that got here his approach. Boston landed simply 14 photographs on objective in what was a quiet contest for a number of gamers throughout the lineup.

Listed here are some takeaways and observations from Monday’s loss in Philadelphia.

Poitras retains on driving play 

Monday represented Matthew Poitras’ most daunting process but throughout preseason play.

The 19-year-old middle has impressed by the primary few weeks of camp because of his playmaking poise. However the sturdy returns he put forth in his first two preseason outings additionally noticed him log vital reps alongside elite expertise like Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

However towards the Flyers, Poitras was given the duty of driving play with a extra subdued set of linemates in Jesper Boqvist and Marc McLaughlin — with the onus falling on the younger ahead to carry his personal with out having a 60-goal scorer like Pastrnak to depend on for offense.

In what has been a recurring development all preseason, Poitras handed the most recent check that Jim Montgomery and Boston’s high brass crafted for him — with the blue-chip prospect persevering with to make it onerous on the Bruins to ship him again right down to juniors.

In a preseason contest that noticed the Bruins knocked for prolonged lapses of lackadaisical play, Poitras continued to face out as an efficient playmaker and key cog down the center.

“I assumed he did a wonderful job tonight,” Jim Montgomery advised reporters postgame. “He reveals plenty of poise with the puck. He makes performs and makes clever assist performs. He’s somebody that constructed our workforce sport tonight on the market. Made plenty of good hockey performs.”

The 2022 second-round decide recorded an help and received eight of his 11 faceoffs on Monday, logging 16:39 of ice time in Boston’s street defeat. He recorded 3:16 of ice time on the facility play, together with 1:56 of shorthanded reps.

Alongside together with his secondary helper on Geekie’s power-play tally, Poitras orchestrated just a few Grade-A seems to be for Justin Brazeau and Ian Mitchell within the slot off of some slick feeds.

It was one other strong displaying for Poitras, regardless that it’s clear that the pass-first pivot nonetheless wants to emphasise capturing the puck extra. He completed with zero photographs on objective on Monday, and solely has three shot makes an attempt by three video games.

Within the 9:31 of 5v5 ice time that Poitras logged with winger Jesper Boqvist, the Bruins held a 7-2 edge in shot makes an attempt and a 4-1 benefit in scoring possibilities.

In an ideal situation, a participant like Poitras who has accelerated his developmental timeline would open the 12 months towards AHL competitors — on condition that Poitras will feast towards fellow youngsters within the OHL this winter if he returns to the Guelph Storm (95 factors in 63 video games in 2023-24).

However Boston isn’t afforded such a luxurious with Poitras, with the NHL-CHL switch settlement stipulating that Boston both must preserve him within the NHL ranks or ship him again to juniors.

The consensus for many of the fall has been that Poitras is destined for an additional 12 months in juniors, given the steep studying curve that possible awaits if he’s requested to navigate 82 video games towards the very best gamers on this planet.

However at this level, Poitras is making a compelling argument for at the very least another preseason sport earlier than cuts arrive.

And even when he’s not set for a featured position on this 2023-24 Bruins squad, Poitras can nonetheless play in 9 video games with the Bruins to open the common season as a trial earlier than reporting right down to Guelph.

At this level, he may need earned such a glance.

Coyle will get first look as top-line middle

After sitting out the primary three preseason video games on the docket, Charlie Coyle earned his first look as considered one of Boston’s top-six facilities on Monday.

The veteran ahead — who primarily skated alongside Jake DeBrusk and Fabian Lysell — logged 17:03 of ice time towards the Flyers and recorded the first help on Geekie’s objective within the first interval.

“It’s a chance that’s out there – and I’m prepared for it,” Coyle mentioned on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Area. “I’ve been working in the direction of this my entire profession and needed to play in a task of this caliber…you all the time wish to enhance your sport.

You wish to be a man who could be dependable on all conditions, and that’s what I delight myself on. I wish to preserve displaying that and enhancing. “All of us wish to play extra minutes, and that’s one thing I’m trying ahead to working in the direction of, and to be a greater participant for this workforce. I do know I can, and I wish to be.”

Regardless of that nifty set-up on Geekie’s objective, it was a comparatively quiet evening from Boston’s high line. A lackluster displaying from Lysell didn’t try this ahead grouping any favors, however the Bruins had been nonetheless out-chanced, 10-8, in the course of the 10:10 of 5v5 ice time when Coyle and DeBrusk skated collectively.

Ian Mitchell might be a favourite for seventh D spot

Barring any surprises (equivalent to Mason Lohrei making the membership out of camp), the Bruins will possible open the common season with a six-man defensive unit of Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Derek Forbort.

Nevertheless it stays to be seen who shores up Boston’s spot as its seventh defenseman. Jakub Zboril was seen because the possible favourite coming into camp, however Ian Mitchell is making a robust case as a puck-moving choice who could make an affect when pressed into motion.

After logging a team-high 9 shot makes an attempt final week in Boston’s preseason loss to the Sabres, Mitchell as soon as once more made his presence felt towards the Flyers — ending with 21:44 of ice time and posting a team-high 5 shot makes an attempt.

Given his versatility and pace-pushing skillset, Mitchell attracts some similarities to Steven Kampfer, who was a gradual seventh D in Boston for just a few seasons. Granted, Mitchell might provide even greater upside given each his age (24) and familiarity together with his former collegiate coach in Montgomery.

Zboril has had a little bit of unhealthy luck this preseason after struggling an harm towards the Rangers on Sept. 24. However with cap area at a premium, the Bruins might carve out some extra fiscal respiration room by waiving Zboril ($1.13 million cap hit) over Mitchell ($775,000 AAV).

“One of many few gamers – I assumed – in our lineup that I seen skating tonight,” Montgomery mentioned of Mitchell. “Total, it’s onerous to say as a result of we didn’t have the puck fairly often tonight. , once you don’t have the puck, you’re chasing the sport and also you’re checking so much. And we had been checking sluggish, so plenty of instances it was onerous to note plenty of gamers tonight.”

Lackluster displaying from Lysell

Whereas Poitras continues to defy the percentages and put himself within the combine for a roster spot with Boston, it positive looks as if Fabian Lysell is setting himself up for a spot in Windfall to open the 2023-24 season.

The chances had been towards Lysell when it got here to breaking camp with Boston after an up-and-down AHL season final winter. However Lysell’s evident ability set and expertise (54 video games with Windfall) supplied up hope that the 2021 first-round decide was primed to push some established NHLers throughout camp.

That hasn’t been the case for Lysell throughout preseason motion, with the expert winger fighting board battles and errant passes throughout Monday’s loss.

It was to be anticipated that Lysell wanted extra seasoning in Windfall earlier than being thought of a viable NHL participant. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless been a comparatively underwhelming displaying from the winger over these previous couple of weeks.

Free pucks 

Just a few unhealthy bounces led to Philly’s three-goal salvo within the second interval, however this simply might have been a 6-1 sport had Swayman not turned apart loads of different Grade-A possibilities.

———

A fairly underwhelming displaying from Patrick Brown, who was possible thought of the favourite to safe Boston’s fourth-line middle spot out of camp. However the veteran solely received 4 of his 11 faceoffs on Monday, was whistled for a visit, and landed only one hit over 14:04 of ice time.

Throughout Brown’s 10:52 of 5v5 reps, the Flyers held a commanding 14-1 edge in shot makes an attempt and a 5-0 benefit in photographs on objective. In a restricted pattern dimension, Johnny Beecher has put collectively the extra compelling argument for minutes at 4C as soon as regular-season play begins.


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