Power play goals must’ve been on the Boston Bruins’ Christmas wish list this year as three man advantage tallies helped the black and gold to a relatively easy 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators last night in the Music City. Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner all had three point efforts and Tuukka Rask stopped 32 Nashville shots in the Boston net to earn his nineteenth victory of the season.
Coach and Front Office Wasting No Time Lineup Adjustments
Like most coaches in the NHL do, Claude Julien has taken a beating during his time in Boston from Bruins fans who think they know better than the veteran headmaster (and I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it too). Everything from his systems, his ability to motivate, to how he handles young players has been called into question especially in recent seasons, which is a little strange given the Bruins’ success. Perhaps one of the biggest pain points for fans has been how the team has handled underperforming players, as during prior seasons the coach and front office has generally continued to trust said players while they worked through whatever issue they may be facing. But as the Black and Gold roll past the ten game mark of the 2013-14 season with a relatively average record, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: those days are quickly drawing to a close.
The black and gold wrapped up the preseason with a 5-0 thumping of the Winnipeg Jets, and took one more step towards establishing their opening night roster by sending four more players to Providence.
If there is one thing to look forward to in preseason action, it’s youngsters battling night in and night out to impress the decision makers in their organization. That was the case tonight with 21-year old Ryan Spooner, who had a goal and an assist against the Jets to help his Bruins squad squeak out a 3-2 overtime victory in Winnipeg. Loui Eriksson netted the game winner with a gorgeous kick-to-the-stick goal, and Niklas Svedberg made 26 saves to earn the win in the Boston net.
It was a big weekend for Bruins rookie hopefuls as they traveled south for a weekend trio of games in preparation for full training camp which starts on Wednesday. Despite a loss to the Panthers and ties with the Lightning and Predators rookies, a number of players had impressive performances as they battle for attention.