Bruins drop preseason finale vs. Flyers, 4-1
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A seemingly never-ending Boston Bruins 2018 preseason slate finally came to a merciful end Saturday, as if we all realized we couldn’t watch a single second more, thanks to a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.
An effort that seemed anything but up to the standards set by Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who was clearly frustrated with his team’s lack of “respect for the game,” especially from his second-year talents.
Boston’s struggles started with the playoff-roasted Torey Krug-Kevan Miller pairing absolutely worked down low by Wayne Simmonds and an aggressive Flyer forecheck. And then a turnover from Miller turned into a Philly lead when Mikhail Vorobyov fed Taylor Leier for a one-time blast that beat Tuukka Rask at the 5:21 mark of the first period.
The brutal own-zone sequence was a microcosm of a first period that saw the Bruins struggle to do much of anything — they didn’t get their first shot on net until the 6:24 mark of the first and their lone legitimate scoring chance came from a Joakim Nordstrom-to-Chris Wagner pass — against the Flyers before losing Krug to a lower-body injury.
After the game, Cassidy said he had ‘no idea’ in regards to the severity of Krug’s injury. He also did not seem to think it’s something that had been bothering Krug, who missed a significant portion of training camp due to his off-ice recovery from a broken ankle sustained in the second round of the playoffs last year, before today.
And though the Bruins got their offensive rhythm on track with a second period that favored them in shots, 14-3, it was not until their first shot of the third period that they themselves on the board with a Ryan Donato power-play tip.
Gifted another power-play opportunity when the Flyers threw the puck over the glass, the Bruins appeared ready to take this game over. But a miscue by Charlie McAvoy and a footrace won by Jori Lehtera provided the Flyers the opening they needed to regain their lead by way of a shorthanded goal, and put this game away.
Lehtera finds Raffl wide open for a shorthanded tally. pic.twitter.com/2nfwgBw1wP— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 29, 2018
As the Bruins melted into a d-zone puddle following the Michael Raffl shorthanded goal, the Flyers added two more goals before the game’s end, which handed the Bruins’ McAvoy an ugly-but-deserved minus-3 in 23:38 of action.
There’s a lot of things we need to fix, a lot of things I need to fix personally, but the good news is we have some time,” McAvoy said after the loss. “We have a couple days; we’re going to be able to look at this film, look at this video, continue to come together more and more as a team.”
Rask, meanwhile, finished with stops on 20 of 24 shots against. What was most noteworthy in No. 40’s end tonight was a tremendous stretch of third-period saves from in tight that kept the game within reach before it was spoiled by a cheap goal surrendered to Simmonds to give Philly a two-goal edge with just over five minutes to go.
Anders Bjork made his preseason debut, finishing the night with one takeaway in 16:17 of time on ice. Despite having just one game to his name this month, Bjork believes he’s ready should he get the call for Game 1 next week.
The Bruins will have one final round of cuts before opening their season Oct. 3 in Washington.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter@_TyAnderson.