Pre-Season Game 1 Takeaways: Boston Bruins
Well preseason is finally under way and the B’s took the ice to face off in game 1 against Claude Julien and the dreaded Habs. None of the big guns dressed for the Bruins tonight most notably Patrice Bergeron who I’m sure would have loved playing in Quebec City not far from where he’s from. The only guys that dressed that we will likely see on the big club were Ryan Spooner, Kevan Miller, Matt Belesky, Riley Nash and Noel Acciari. The rest of the squad were full of guys trying to grab a spot or to give some guys an extended break, and by that I mean I don’t think we’ll see Tommy Cross dressing for the big club unless there’s an absolute necessity for it. Bruins pulled off the 3-2 victory after trailing by 2 with goals from Gabrielle, Bjork (PP) and Schaller (PK). Here are some of my highlights and lowlights after watching preseason game 1.
Jesse Gabrielle: a lot of people consider him Marchand 2.0 and he showed it last night, throwing his body around and getting to the net to make some plays. He scored a nice goal in close off a feed from Nash. Gabrielle may need a season in Providence but all signs point to a guy who can grow within the system and work his way to viable middle six winger option in the future. He’ll probably get an extended look throughout the preseason.
Anders Bjork: Bjork looked very comfortable all night, he believes in his ability and skates and handles the puck with confidence. A lot of focus will be on him to make the top 6 out which could be a very realistic option. He’ll definitely develop into a better player being exposed to the pro game.
Noel Acciari: the run-away freight train continues! This guy doesn’t care that it’s preseason he’s still out there hitting anything near him and blocking shots. That’s the kind of commitment the Bruins need for their bottom 6 and I would expect to see him fill a 4th line role with the potential to move up to the 3rd line if her can find his offensive game.
Zane McIntyre: Looking more and more comfortable, positioning was good. He could give Khudobin a real battle for the backup role this season.
Malcom Subban: Gave up the 2 goals while all not entirely his fault he seemed to be battling the puck all night and a split second behind. I think some of his issues are between his ears and he’s not quite 100% confident in himself, almost like he’s second guessing the plays and movements he’s about to make. He has a lot of time to develop and the B’s probably shouldn’t give up on him yet but if Subban’s not careful he could see himself slip behind Vladar on the depth chart.
Colby Cave: Non-existent in this fans eyes. Bruins are definitely hoping to see more out of him as he just seemed to be going through the motions in game number one. We’ll see if he gets more preseason action.
Zach Senyshyn: While he didn’t do anything bad really he certainly didn’t blow me away. I didn’t see the speed and hunger for the puck I was hoping for out him. He’ll definitely need some time in Providence getting bigger minutes to get him geared up for the NHL level.
Ryan Spooner: Again similar to Senyshyn I would have expected Ryan Spooner to have a better showing here. If the kid isn’t happy with his role in Boston he needs to play lights out to garner himself some trade value. I’ll be looking for him to up the ante in the rest of the preseason.
Tim Schaller: his play last night is going to make it hard for Cassidy and Co to not have him in the mix. Albeit against not a full MTL squad Tim showed he can more than just a 4th line grinder.
Matt Belesky: Starting to come back around to the form of his Anaheim days. Looked to be more far more comfortable moving around the ice, pointing to hopefully getting past his injury woes and making sure he’s not 4th line or 9th floor fodder.
Bruins take the ice back in Boston on Tuesday night against the Red Wings, we’ll see what the squad they put on the ice and hope they can keep thing rolling.
Thanks for reading,