Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Oct 19, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) celebrates with his teammates during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

When facing a rebuilder of the highest order — which is exactly what the Sharks are in this very moment and who the Bruins took on Thursday night in San Jose — it doesn’t take much to land a knockout punch. It can be a bad break that goes against ’em, an ugly shift that has them gassed and backing off when they need to do the complete opposite, or really just about anything that leaves a player looking skyward in frustration, disbelief, and agony.

Or, as all three of Boston’s goals last night confirmed, it can be a combination of all three.

Trading pushes for the first 18 minutes of their head-to-head last night, a Brad Marchand snipe opened things up for the Bruins and opened the door for the Bruins to double their lead just 21 seconds later, and a ping-pong styled goal from David Pastrnak in the second period was a straight-up soul-crushing marker for San Jose to surrender.

The hole was dug so deep that not even an Anthony Duclair goal off Hampus Lindholm and through Linus Ullmark could be enough to bring the Sharks back to life in what finished as a 3-1 victory for the Bruins.

  • With the victory, the Bruins not only improved to 3-0-0 on the season, but also won their sixth straight game at San Jose’s SAP Center, making it Boston’s longest road unbeaten streak in the history of the showdowns between the Sharks and Bruins, beating the previous five-game streak of 3-0-0-2.

    It was also the Black and Gold’s 12th straight victory over the Sharks, moving the club within one win of matching the Wild’s 13-game win streak against the Ducks for the NHL’s longest active win streak against one franchise.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the game from a win in San Jose…

  • No. 3 Star: Brad Marchand

    SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen #36 of the San Jose Sharks blocks the shot of Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the third period at SAP Center on October 19, 2023 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 19: Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen #36 of the San Jose Sharks blocks the shot of Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the third period at SAP Center. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Those on the ground in San Jose made it clear that Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was not thrilled with his team following Wednesday’s practice and Thursday’s morning skate. Now, exactly why he was unhappy with his bunch was unclear (Montgomery has repeatedly referenced his team’s need to play ‘faster’ as a team so I wonder if that was part of it), but when that’s the case, it’s often on your leaders to set the tone.

    And who better to kick the scoring off in this contest than Bruins captain Brad Marchand?

    There’s a whole lot to like about Marchand’s first goal as the B’s captain. Particularly the patience to hold onto the puck and avoid shooting it into the stick or body of San Jose defenseman Mario Ferraro.

    But what I really loved about it was the timing. The Bruins dominated this opening frame with a strong start, but had nothing to show for it prior to Marchand’s goal. If Marchand’s goal doesn’t go, there’s a good chance that the Bruins enter the first intermission knowing that they played extremely well but didn’t get a hold of anything tangible. That, when playing scrappy underdogs like the Sharks, is almost always something that comes back to bite you in the ass and make things harder than they should’ve been.

    Beyond the goal, Marchand finished this contest with five shots on goal and a blocked shot.

  • No. 2 Star: David Pastrnak

    Oct 19, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (48) after scoring a goal during the second period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 19, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Well, as last night confirmed, they can’t always be top-shelf snipes and penalty-shot wizardry for David Pastrnak. But so long as the red light is going off, No. 88 and the Bruins won’t care at all.

    Scored with 3:14 left in the second period and putting San Jose in a three-goal hole through 40 minutes of action, the Pastrnak goal served as the true back breaker for the Sharks in this contest. It was also a deserved tally — as ugly as it may have been — in a game that Pastrnak and linemates Jake DeBrusk and Pavel Zacha outright dominated, with a 10-2 on-ice shot advantage.

    With four goals through three games this season, Pastrnak is currently tied with 11 other players for the fourth-most goals in the NHL. A strong start when it comes to building off last year’s career-high 61 goals.

  • No. 1 Star: Trent Frederic

    SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen #36 of the San Jose Sharks blocks the shot of Trent Frederic #11 of the Boston Bruins during the first period at SAP Center on October 19, 2023 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 19: Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen #36 of the San Jose Sharks blocks the shot of Trent Frederic #11 of the Boston Bruins during the first period at SAP Center. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Speaking after Monday’s practice, which saw Trent Frederic reunited with Charlie Coyle and James van Riemsdyk added to the left of that one-two punch, Jim Montgomery felt that his new-look third line would have everything it needs to maximize the skill set of each individual.

    And if Thursday told us anything, it’s that he’s most certainly onto something there. Per NaturalStatTrick, the van Riemsdyk-Coyle-Frederic line was together for 10:21 of five-on-five action, and finished the night with a 12-3 advantage in shot attempts, 10-2 edge in shots, and 1-0 scoring advantage.

    And though the line’s goal was scored by van Riemsdyk, it was a monster night from Frederic, who finished with an assist and a career-high five shots on goal in the victory. Driving toward the front of the net on the JVR goal, Frederic drew the attention of multiple Sharks players, and had about two whacks at the puck before it trickled over to van Riemsdyk for the shovel-style goal.

    Getting to the front of the net has been a major focus for the Bruins as a team this season, and Frederic has certainly delivered on that front through three games. He deflected home Boston’s first goal of the new season, and as noted, his efforts last night opened the door for a net-front tally for a teammate. Frederic himself has seemingly grown as a shooting threat, too, with 10 shots through three games after recording 120 shots in 79 games a year ago. His decision-making seems quicker, too, which is something that the Bruins have stressed to him in the past, and if that shot-first mindset remains there all year, there’s no denying that Frederic will indeed build off last year’s breakout season that featured 17 goals and 31 points.

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