Two U’s, two K’s, two points for the Bruins tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes were playing the second night of back to back games and they did not really put up a fight. The Bruins out played the Coyotes from opening puck drop to the final horn that buried them. The Bruins got goals from David Krejci (2), Brett Connolly, Joe Morrow, Jimmy Hayes, and Brad Marchand. Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season. The Bruins have earned 9 out of a possible 10 points in the last 5 games. Here are Boston Pucks 3 thoughts from the game:
1. BostonPucks.com hates to rub it in when we are right
After the Colorado game on October 14th, which was Brett Connolly’s first on a line with Bergeron I said, “I do not see moving Brett Connolly to the 4th line as an option. Although he has not scored a goal yet, I like how he is moving and carrying the puck. I feel once he breaks the ice they will start coming more consistently.” Fast forward to tonight; he got his 3rd goal in 3 games. When you’re right, you’re right.
Connolly’s goal tonight was a true snipe, low blocker side. He showed his quick release after receiving a pass from Marchand in the slot and he put it by Arizona goalie Mike Smith. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2010 draft, which was the Taylor Hall/Tyler Seguin draft, so he has skill and the 1st round pedigree. If he can stay healthy and score 20-25 goals the two 2nd round picks that the Bruins gave up for him will not look as bad as some people thought initially when the trade happened.
We also called that Tuukka Rask was going to “be on fire tonight.” Although he was not tested all that much he did get his first shutout of the season. The best thing to come out of this win is it should give Tuukka more confidence moving forward to the next game.
2. Keep the lines the way they are
Tonight’s lineup was what I have been waiting for from coach Claude Julien. I wanted Eriksson to stay with Krejci’s line, Connolly to stay with Bergeron’s line, and Beleskey to move to the third line (As I wrote after B’s win over the Isles. Not that I’m saying I called it). The top three lines produced tonight and the 4th line had some chances. I feel the lineup tonight is the best lineup the Bruins can throw out there. I would have never thought that Tyler Randell would be playing over Zac Rinaldo but he has earned it and it does not look like he is going to give it up any time soon.
This lineup allows the Bruins to really roll all four lines. Kemppainen is starting to really look comfortable and he is as advertised. He is reliable in the defensive zone and has some offense touch. If the Bruins are going to be able to compete against the Canadiens they need a really good 4th line because Montreal might have the best in the NHL right now. With a tough schedule the next two weeks (Florida, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Washington and Montreal) the Bruins are going have to get scoring from every line.
3. Morrow is coming into his own after his IR stint
Joe Morrow’s shot on his goal was down right nasty. He picked up the puck and weaved through the neutral zone and ripped a shot top corner. After the Islander game we wrote that we did not notice him much, which for a defenseman that is usually a good thing. It seems like he is more relaxed now and not trying to force everything. The Bruins as a team have tightened up the defense, but Morrow has been a part of that the past 2 games. The key for Morrow is to keep developing his game. I do believe he will be a top 4 defenseman at some point in the future.
The Bruins have now beat the Coyotes twice on the year and this time around Arizona was coming off of a hard fought win in Toronto last night. It’s still hard to really tell if the Bruins have truly turned the corner. But the 2 points count the same regardless. The first home win feels really good for fans and I am sure for the players as well. Either way you look at it the Coyotes are in first place in the Pacific Division. It is highly unlikely they will be there at the end of the year, but they are better than people expected. Long term, their current success is ruining their chances at finishing low as initially expected and being able to draft Scottsdale Arizona’s own Auston Matthews with a lottery pick next year.