It’s been a hard slog for the Bruins so far this season. Not because the Bruins have been playing night after night, but quite the opposite. Bruins fans have had to sit and wait to watch their team play while every other hockey fan gets spoiled. Luckily now though, Boston has played two games. And that means its time to judge the team based on that sample size!
New Bruins, Same Old Problems?
On Saturday the 16th, the Bruins bested the Stars 3-1 at TD Garden. In their second game, the Bruins were outgunned in a 6-3 loss in Philadelphia. Now a 1-1-0 start is not anything to worry about at all, but this is a sports team in Boston, so that means the team has already disappointed! But seriously though, there were absolutely glaring issues that could be seen during Boston’s first two games.
One of those issues isn’t really an issue, but at the same time, it has been a long, lingering issue. Just follow me here. The Bruins’ perfection line has gotten right back to their elite level of play. Brad Marchand himself already has 3 goals this season. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak undoubtedly will join Marchand soon with the way they’ve played the first two games. The issue though is that yet again it seems like the only consistent part of the offense will be the top line.
This has been the Bruins albatross since these three players were put together several seasons ago. Yes, the Bruins have had depth players put up great performances in that time, but those performances haven’t been consistent. The way to beat Boston always seemed to find a way to shut down the first line because no one else on the team was a threat to score. That issue seemed to have been solved last year when Boston acquired Taylor Hall, but that was when David Krejci was still on the team. With Charlie Coyle at the second-line center spot now, there are a lot of question marks around the Bruins’ offensive depth (again).
Trouble In Net?
Alaskan goaltender Jeremy Swayman started Boston’s first two games. Against Dallas, Swayman only allowed one goal. But against Philly, Swayman let in five goals, the most in his young career. Now not every goalie can be perfect in every single game, but Swayman did not exactly look comfortable in the net on Wednesday. Several of the Flyers’ goals were saves Swayman should be able to make.
It might only be the first two games of the season, but maybe this is a sign that Boston should not rush such a young talent like Swayman. Swayman has to show he is ready to be the number one goalie. Perhaps last season was too small of sample size (but maybe so are just these two games)? With Linus Ullmark not having a great preseason though, the Bruins might feel forced to stick with Swayman. A decision that could perhaps hinder both the team and Swayman himself.
Is It All Doom And Gloom?
Nope. Not at all. The only reason why I am already being so negative is that I am frankly upset that since the NHL season started last Tuesday, the Bruins have only played two games. What else am I supposed to talk about!? Sometimes playing devil’s advocate can help create interesting discussions when not much is going on.
I honestly am not that upset with Boston’s first two games at all. Yes, the top line was driving the most offense, but players like Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman broke through with goals after not having stellar 2021’s. Not to mention Taylor Hall also showed he still has it with a slick goal against Philly.
As for the goalie situation, Swayman really just had one bad game. And Ullmark has not even played for real yet in Boston. I’d imagine that both netminders will split games 50-50 for the time being, and I’m confident both will have decent numbers this year. There really is not much to worry about in Boston, except of course for the seemingly overarching issue of the only offense coming from the top line. But it’s the start of the season. We’ll just have to see how this iteration of the Bruins pans out.
Hi, I’m RJ Oakley and I’m the Bruins beat writer here at Belly Up Sports. Check back here and follow me on Twitter for news and discussion on the B’s. Be sure to follow Belly Up Hockey as well for all your NHL needs!