BOSTON — The playoffs are still a couple of months away, but Saturday night’s thoroughly entertaining 4-1 victory by the Boston Bruins over the Toronto Maple Leafs was a tasty postseason appetizer.
Here are three quick hits from the game:
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR CZARNIK
Austin Czarnik’s been on fire for the Providence Bruins lately and it was nice to see him rewarded with a callup. Not only did Czarnik play well in his 9:07 of ice time, he set up Torey Krug’s power play goal in the second period.
Kudos to the Bruins coaching staff for playing to Czarnik’s strengths by using him with the man advantage, even if it was for only 32 seconds.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming into tonight so it was nice to get (power play time) and we scored on one of them so it was perfect,” Czarnik said.
“I think he was good,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “Lots of energy, on the puck, made a play on the power play which we’re used to seeing him make. So, I thought that whole line (with Frank Vatrano and Sean Kuraly) did their job pretty well, other than maybe the shift with a minute to go where they got hemmed in their own end a bit, but no complaints, and that’s what we need.”
After Charlie McAvoy’s own goal in the first period, there was no bad body language on the part of Tuukka Rask. Instead, he went to McAvoy and told him not to worry about it.
That kind of response goes a long way.
“He’s an unbelievable teammate and an unbelievable player,” said McAvoy. “I’m kind of feeling a little upset there, obviously it’s a bounce you can’t really control, but to
have him come and tap me on the pads there and say “hey, no worries, it’s fine,” that meant a lot to me as far as focusing and getting back into the game.”
The Bruins have built some good chemistry, which should serve them well as they navigate the peaks and valley’s of the stretch drive and postseason.
“I think it’s just another sign of what you’re seeing inside of our club, and in that particular case outside, but there’s a lot of that going on. Guys are working hard for one another, have each other’s backs,” said Cassidy.
MCQUAID DOING MCQUAID THINGS
Given Adam McQuaid’s lengthy injury history, you couldn’t help but cringe when he blocked a William Nylander slapper on a Toronto power play in the third period.
Luckily, he was none the worse for wear.
“When you break your leg blocking a shot like he did earlier in the year and missed that much time, there might be some hesitancy to put yourself in harm’s way,” said Cassidy.
But, of course, McQuaid didn’t hesitate a bit.
“That’s Adam. He’s a soldier for us,” said Cassidy.