Boston Bruins

  • It’s just two games — and of ’em did come against the Coyotes — but the Bruins can only play the schedule in front of them. And they’re using that schedule to look like one deep, deep scoring club.

    Through two games, the Bruins have scored 11 goals, and have 10 different scorers over that 11-goal sample. That’ll make any coach happy, as Jim Montgomery can indeed confirm.

    “It tells us how deep we are,” Montgomery said of the balanced scoring out of the gate. “I’ve said we have really good depth, and we’re still missing three really good hockey players. So it’s nice when that third and fourth line can really control the play like they did tonight. I thought every time they were out there, they tilted the ice, which was really good. And it’s good for them, they’re gonna get confidence from it. And then we’re gonna get more and more confidence offensively and how we want to play.”

    But who stood out in yet another true ‘team’ win for the Bruins?

    Here’s 98.5 The Sports Hub dot com’s three stars from a home opener win over the ‘Yotes…

  • No. 3 Star: Connor Clifton

    Apr 28, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA;  Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) makes a pass during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 28, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) makes a pass during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • A first-period hit to Brandon Carlo not only knocked Carlo out of the game Saturday, but it also left the Bruins without their top defenseman on the right side of their depth chart, and left the team with just one right-handed defenseman in action. But that last righty standing, Connor Clifton, did his job and then some.

    Deployed for a team-leading 20:39 of five-on-five time on ice, Clifton finished this contest with an assist and a plus-2 rating, while the Bruins finished with a 15-to-8 shot edge with No. 75 on the ice at five-on-five.

    Clifton, who was actually drafted by the Coyotes back in 2013 (fifth round, No. 133 overall), also stuffed the box score with three shots, three hits, and two blocked shots by the end of the night.

    The Bruins, still without Charlie McAvoy, are going to need more nights like that from the 5-foot-11 Clifton should Carlo’s absence extend beyond Saturday night.

  • No. 2 Star: Nick Foligno

    Apr 14, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) gets set for a face off during the first period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 14, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) gets set for a face off during the first period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

  • 2021-22 was a miserable year for Nick Foligno. In fact, it took until his 19th appearance of the season for Foligno to finally get on the board with his first of what would be two goals in 64 games.

    This year, the wait for goal No. 1 ended before the end of the second period of the second game of the year, as Foligno tipped home a Clifton shot to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead in the eventual 6-3 victory. Foligno also added a power-play assist on Pavel Zacha’s first-period goal, and finished with two hits and a takeaway in 14:55 of play.

  • Foligno also possessed the best corsi-for percentage (76.19 percentage), with the Bruins out-attempting the Coyotes by a 16-5 mark during the 34-year-old Foligno’s 12:25 of five-on-five ice time.

    You could even make the case that it should’ve been three goals of involvement for Foligno, as his contact with Karel Vejmelka was enough to negate what (probably) should’ve been a good goal for Jakub Lauko.

  • No. 1 Star: A.J. Greer

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 15: A.J. Greer #10 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at TD Garden on October 15, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Coyotes 6-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 15: A.J. Greer #10 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at TD Garden on October 15, 2022. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • Bruins winger A.J. Greer entered Saturday’s game with two goals in 48 career NHL games. He left the Garden with double that production, as the 6-foot-3 Greer was able to score two goals in the winning effort.

    We can talk about the goals — Vejmelka definitely should’ve stopped the first one and the second was an empty-net strike — but they were some much-needed tallies to truly bury the Coyotes in what was a spirited effort from a straight-up dreadful Arizona squad.

    But really, it was Greer’s assist that stood out in this game, as he outright denied Dysin Mayo’s attempted breakout pass and helped put the puck on Charlie Coyle’s blade for a first-period goal to make it 2-0.

    The 25-year-old Greer finished the game with two goals, an assist, and a plus-4 rating.

    Greer is now one of just seven Bruins since 2005 to have a game of at least two goals, three points, and a plus-4 rating, joining a list featuring Patrice Bergeron (four times), Brad Marchand (eight times), David Pastrnak (three times), David Krejci (twice), David Backes, and Milan Lucic.