Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Tyson Barrie (22) takes a shot around Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) during the third period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Good news and bad news.

We can start with the bad news. The Boston Bruins got called for seven penalties on Saturday night against the Nashville Predators, including a double-minor. Egregious examples included an unnecessary out-of-his-way cross-check by Brad Marchand against Gustav Nyquist, and a stick-hold by Charlie McAvoy pretty much right in front of the linesman.

The Bruins are fortunate that the Predators lack the high-end firepower to really make them pay for a lack of discipline. Against a more skilled, deep power play, the Bruins’ rampant penalty troubles in the first two periods of Saturday’s 3-2 win could have sunk them.


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And now, the good news: the Bruins killed all seven penalties, most impressively the four-minute high-sticking double-minor against Jakub Lauko. They accomplished the feat with stout goaltending by Jeremy Swayman, and a hell of a lot of elbow grease.

The greasy part? Getting in the way of pucks. The Bruins penalty kill was credited with a total of nine blocked shots, including three by McAvoy and two by shot-blocking specialist Derek Forbort (via Natural Stat Trick). Marchand, Brandon Carlo, Hampus Lindholm, and Trent Frederic blocked one each.

  • Further, Pavel Zacha, Jake DeBrusk, and John Beecher blocked pass attempts and/or cleared the puck over the course of that epic four-minute kill. And as the final boss, Swayman made 12 of his 33 saves with the Bruins down a man.

    “It was a lot of selflessness,” McAvoy said after the game. “First star goes to the penalty kill tonight. It was so many blocked shots and 200-foot clears and even some offensive chances and opportunities that came from it. It was great penalty killing.”

  • Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Luke Evangelista (77) attempts a shot against Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Luke Evangelista (77) attempts a shot against Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Also of note, was that the Bruins found their discipline in the third period. No penalties in the final 20 minutes, compared to three for the Predators. And the B’s were able to cash in on the first one, with James van Riemsdyk’s second goal of the game.

    “After 40 [minutes] we came in here and I think we were just trying to reset emotionally,” said McAvoy. “When you’re killing as much as we did, and it’s penalty after penalty, and then 5-on-3 and they get one on a delayed [penalty], it was frustrating, for sure. You could kind of sense that frustration, for sure.

    “So, coming in here after two, whatever happened in the first 40, we just gotta leave it. We got 20 minutes here in a tie game, so, just go find a way to win.”

  • Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Cole Smith (36) controls the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Cole Smith (36) controls the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    With Marchand as captain, there could be an element of getting under the opponents’ skin and forcing them to take bad penalties of their own, and if the Bruins get in trouble, an impenetrable penalty kill can definitely add to the annoyance. But the Bruins certainly aren’t happy to live that way every game. It won’t be sustainable against more explosive offensive teams.

    But it’s good for the Bruins to know that if they get hemmed up in shorthanded minutes, they have a team full of guys willing to make the sacrifices needed to keep the puck out of the net on the other team’s man advantage. They’ll have to gut out a few wins that way over the course of the season. This was just the first one.

  • Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) hugs goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after a game against the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) hugs goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after a game against the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Click here for complete Boston Bruins coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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