Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When you’re talking about a 10-1-1 club — and a relatively unexpected 10-1-1 club at that — it’s admittedly easy to find a lot of positives.

But the greatest positive of all through 12 games (and just two losses) for Jim Montgomery and the Bruins: This is a team that simply refuses to let their losses snowball. Even when the schedule, as well as the continued losses on the personnel front, suggests that they should.

In Dallas for a showdown with the Central-best Stars, and still without half of their ‘regular’ defense (including their top pair), the Bruins looked primed for their second straight defeat. Especially when the Stars made it a one-goal game in the third period and seemingly had all the momentum going their way.

  • But, again, these Bruins don’t let losses fester and while they bend, they rarely break.

    Instead, the team once again rallied around their goaltender (or maybe better yet their goaltender rallied the team on his own), found the extra goal they needed in crunch-time, and survived yet another white-knuckle finish to secure another two points.

    Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars from a win in Big D…

  • No. 3 Star: Brad Marchand

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) covers up the puck n front of Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) covers up the puck n front of Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

  • What seemed like an insurance goal at the time turned out to be so much more, as the power-play goal scored by the Bruins’ Brad Marchand actually ended as the game-winning tally in this one.

    It was a perfectly Marchand goal, too, as the 5-foot-9 B’s captain simply outworked the Dallas penalty kill to get to the front of the net and win his individual puck battle for an easy tap-in through Jake Oettinger.

    What I think I really liked about this goal was that it came just six seconds into the power-play opportunity. That meant something, really, as this was a game that featured some tremendous puck movement from the Black and Gold’s top unit but had failed to produce anything tangible up until that point. Finding the results there versus going through another ‘close but nothing’ had to feel good and may have downright saved ’em.

    In addition to the game-winning strike, Marchand finished this game with a game-high five shots, and now has five goals in eight head-to-heads with the Stars since the start of the 2018-19 season.

  • No. 2 Star: Johnny Beecher

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Bruins center Johnny Beecher (19) skates off the ice after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Bruins center Johnny Beecher (19) skates off the ice after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

  • It took him 12 games, but Bruins fourth-line center Johnny Beecher is on the board with NHL goal No. 1.

    And, boy, was it a pretty one.

    Speaking after the game, Beecher admitted that it’s not how he saw his first goal going down. He joked that he pictured it “going off his shin or something.” (Gotta respect the commitment to being a bottom-six type.) But this goal felt like it needed to happen for Beecher, who has struggled at times to get his game going since the losses of fourth-line wingers Jakub Lauko and Milan Lucic to their respective injuries.

    And beyond the goal, this was one hell of an effort from Beecher.

    Out there for a season-high 13:05 of time on ice, Beecher was matched up against the Dallas top line throughout the majority of the evening, but held an on-ice edge in shots by a whopping 5-1 mark at five-on-five. In fact, the Heinen-Beecher-Steen fourth line finished with a 4-0 edge in on-ice shots, 3-0 edge in on-ice scoring chances, and 2-0 advantage in on-ice high-danger scoring chances in over eight minutes of action.

  • No. 1 Star: Jeremy Swayman

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 6, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Through 12 games of the 2023-24 Bruins season, this has been The Jeremy Swayman Show.

    Entering the year as Boston’s 1B behind the reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark, Swayman has been absolutely insane out of the gate, and is making the 1A-1B situation a legitimate conversation piece. (Which is honestly saying something considering that Ullmark still has four wins and a .926 save percentage through his first six appearances of the season. Like, those are numbers most would kill for.)

    It’s a testament to how downright ridiculous Swayman has been through the first month of the season, and Monday night in Dallas may have featured his best performance to date on that front.

    Tagged for 37 shots, Swayman turned aside all but two. The second goal surrendered was a downright impossible-to-stop look, too, as the Stars had a 6-on-5 advantage during that spell and scored on what was a shoulder-height deflection from Joe Pavelski from about 30 feet out. Nobody’s stopping that, and if they do, it’s through blind luck and blind luck alone.

    But for 60 minutes, Swayman had to be the guy. And he was. He had some brilliant stops on ex-Bruin Craig Smith throughout the night, and he saved the B’s asses when they outright tried to fumble away a power-play opportunity and turn it into a shorthanded goal against.

    All in all, Swayman’s night featured stops on 12 of the 13 high-danger shots faced during all-situation play, according to Natural Stat Trick, while his expected goals against average clocked in at 3.17.

    Just a straight-up bonkers performance.

    And with the win, Swayman improved to 6-0-0, and the 35-of-37 performance kept his season save percentage up over .950, though it ‘dipped’ from .954 to .952 in the win.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.