Bruins handle Rangers in first game of 2023 preseason
Through just three days of on-ice work this training camp, ‘competition’ has been the name of the game for the Bruins.
You’ve heard it again and again from B’s general manager Don Sweeney and head coach Jim Montgomery, and you’ve seen it from established leaders like Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy. And on Sunday, you saw it for a full 60 minutes, as a prospect and hopeful-heavy Bruins lineup handled the Rangers by a 3-0 final at TD Garden.
The Bruins didn’t wait long to put themselves on the board in this one either, as prospect Matt Poitras scored on the power play at the 7:20 mark of the opening period to put the Bruins up 1-0.
Matthew Poitras nets the B's first preseason goal! pic.twitter.com/KkfHDrXwBX— NESN (@NESN) September 24, 2023
In a Boston-or-OHL situation given his age and the agreement between the NHL and CHL, Poitras has been forthright in his desire to make things ‘difficult’ on the Bruins when it comes to sending him back to Guelph for the 2023-24 season. And a goal that sees him readjust his shooting angle following a so-so pass that bounces off his skate before ripping a shot through Jonathan Quick will only help his chances of making things harder for Sweeney & Co.
“It’s a big challenge [to stick with the NHL club] because it’s a man’s league out there. He didn’t see the NHL tonight, you know?” Montgomery offered. “So it’s a really good start, but that’s what he needs to do, right?
“He played a really good game, he’s gonna get another game and if he keeps playing he’ll get rewarded and continue to get rewarded. It’d be a pleasant surprise if he was able to do it.”
Up by one through 20 minutes of play, Poitras continued to dazzle, this time with a slick dish to Jake DeBrusk en route to a lead-doubling goal from No. 74. Free-agent addition James van Riemsdyk picked up a secondary helper on the tally.
Jake DeBrusk makes it 2-0 Bruins.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) September 24, 2023
That’s two points for Matt Poitras in two periods of play. pic.twitter.com/JAqn6OgkOJ
“It goes a long way to settle the nerves down and just get going,” Poitras said of getting on the board with a goal and an assist. “I felt pretty good. Obviously, it’s a lot different than what I’m used to. It’s faster [and] guys are bigger, but I felt better as the game went on and felt more confident with the puck.”
And the Bruins needed just five minutes and three seconds to push their lead out to three, this time with a Johnny Beecher finish just moments after a big save from the Bruins’ Brandon Bussi.
Bussi was indeed the story in this contest, too, as the third-string netminder on the organizational depth chart finished with a ridiculous 29-for-29 line in the Boston net.
The 25-year-old’s Bussi best save in a night full of highlight reel stuffs came with 13:57 remaining in the third period of action and with some downright glove-save robbery of the Rangers’ Jonny Brodzinski. Moving left-to-right and practically down-and-out, Bussi’s glove save left even Brodzinski stunned, as the Ranger winger was already launching into his goal celebration when Bussi snagged the puck out of the air.
What an absurd save by Brandon Bussi. pic.twitter.com/4niKXHOOyc— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) September 24, 2023
The save earned Bussi a standing ovation from the Garden crowd, and major props from his teammates and coach.
“It was unreal. Honest to God,” Montgomery said of the save. “I think it was a great play by [the Rangers] but the fact that [Bussi] read it, I mean, that’s a double-slot line play. They go in at like 75% because it’s a a yawning cage that someone’s looking at. And Brodzinski, he put it three-quarters of the way up. It wasn’t like low glove and he shot it in the glove. [Bussi] went up there and snared it.”
“It was unbelievable,” Poitras said of the third-period stop by Bussi. “He did like the exact same thing last year when I went down to Providence at the end of the year and they were playing in the playoffs. Like the exact same save. I can’t believe he saved that, it’s ridiculous.”
Bussi is not in position to unseat a healthy Jeremy Swayman or Linus Ullmark in 2023-24, but remaining ready for that chance is officially the objective for Bussi, with the New York native no longer roadblocked by a veteran No. 3.
“I just came to training camp preparing for the first game of the season to be the best I can be,” Bussi said. “That’s all I can control. Having the opportunity to practice with Sway and Linus, obviously, is awesome, and being able to learn from them. I think their track record speaks for how skilled they are and what they’ve done.”
Originally scheduled for a 5 p.m. puck drop, the Rangers dealt with some travel issues in what was a wet and windy day in the Northeast, which pushed the game’s start time up to 5:45 p.m. at TD Garden. That was pretty much the only bad news of the day until the Bruins lost both Patrick Brown and Jakub Zboril to injuries in the win.
Speaking after the win, Montgomery said both players’ departures were “precautionary.”
The Bruins will continue their preseason slate with a Tuesday night in Buffalo with a showdown against the Sabres.
Boston Bruins reveal full list of 'Historic 100' players
The centennial season celebration for the Bruins is officially underway, and boy, is there going to be a lot to take in when it comes to the Bruins turning 100. We’re talking new jerseys (and fashion shows unveiling those new jerseys), and an on-site museum of sorts opening at TD Garden to look through the century-long history of the club.
One of the first tasks, however, was coming up with the ‘Historic 100’ to name the 100 most legendary players in the history of the franchise. Now, note that it’s legendary and not best. This wasn’t about picking the 100 greatest players in the organization (though that certainly played into it to a degree), but the 100 most legendary Bruins.
Speaking personally, I was honored — shocked, even — to be picked to be part of this committee. They got the kid who used to buy $10 tickets with his Dunkin’ Donuts tip money (quick shoutout to the Burlington Mall Dunks circa 2007) deciding who’s an all-time great! Sadly for 2007 Ty, I don’t believe Glen Metropolit and Chuck Kobasew are making this list. But holy smokes, did I agonize over this. My greatest fear was missing out on an extremely obvious player.
That, based on the results shared by the Bruins after tabulating all our votes, did not happen.
And while this isn’t a ranked list, I can tell you that mine went Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, and Patrice Bergeron. In that order, I’m like 90 percent sure. I can also tell you that I rounded out my list with Andrew Ference in the No. 100 spot, and I believe that I had Tim Thomas one spot ahead of Tuukka Rask somewhere in the 20s because I truly couldn’t decide between the two when weighing peak (Thomas) versus longevity (Rask).
These debates only got more insane as the list went down into the 40s, and by the 70s, it was pure chaos.
But our results came through Tuesday, and with the Bruins unveiling the ‘Historic 100’ in full.
Just as a note, this is not my own personal list of 100, but rather the results of all of our votes tabulated to get it down to 100. It’s also worth noting that this list is not ranked, but rather the results of the voting…
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. Yell at him on Twitter/X: @_TyAnderson.