The Boston Bruins got to showcase the team’s newest arrivals at the TD Garden on Tuesday night. Second place in the Atlantic Division was on the line as the Black and Gold took on the Carolina Hurricanes. While the B’s had a rough first period, they kept it close and tied it up in the second. In the end, it took Charlie McAvoy to score the game winner in OT for Boston.
While it was certainly another excellent game for McAvoy, the Bruins latest arrivals stole the show in the B’s 4-3 win.
If we’re objective, the B’s weren’t going to be able to hold on to Ryan Spooner, so it made sense to move him while Spooner still had value. The B’s also moved Matt Beleskey, whose underwhelming season found him in Providence at the time of the trade. The loss of the 2018 first-round pick and B’s prospect Ryan Lindgren seemed to anger fans more than the loss of Spooner and Beleskey.
Some people haven’t been thrilled with the Rick Nash trade. His early performance in the spoked ‘B’ should silence some of these critics.
Nash played in his second game in the spoked B, and again came up big for Boston. He put up a goal and assist in the game, and made a massive save for the B’s early on in the game. He’s only been in two games, and he’s already made a substantial impact for Boston.
The Bruins organization got off much lighter when they traded for Chicago Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels. Bruins fans were more than willing to add a player that only cost the team a fifth (or fourth if the B’s get into the second round of the playoffs and/or resign him next year) round pick in 2019.
The 29-year old Wingels came out of the box flying for the Black and Gold. He had a goal, an assist, seven shot attempts, a plus-2 goal differential, and a very positive 53.33 Corsi percentage. That’s a rather solid debut for a player who put in just 15:06 of ice time for the Bruins.
Wingels got his first Boston start due to a hole in the lineup caused by the absence of Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins best all-around player will be out for the next two weeks due to a hairline fracture of his right foot.
“Whenever you played the Bruins, you knew you were in for a game,” said Wingels about his new team. “And I think that’s as good of a compliment as you can give, that those guys compete, those guys play hard, and they’re tough to play against. That’s what I saw from them, and that’s what I’m going to try to fit in here as well.
“If you get traded this is the kind of place you want to go to. A hungry team, a team that is capable of winning it all and a team with the skill and work ethic of the Bruins here. So, really happy to be here and just going to try to contribute any way I can.”
Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy was undoubtedly pleased with the work of Wingels and Nash this evening. “They’re both experienced players in the league, and I think they’re good people that want to help the team win,” said Cassidy of the team’s newest players. “We wanted them. They can help a good team be better, so I think that’s part of it, as well. Like anybody, you go to a new job, you want to impress…good first impression. I think that’s human nature, and they’ve done that.”
While it’s a little early to see what the players like Nash, Wingels, and Brian Gionta will do long-term for the B’s, they’re off to a strong start in the Black and Gold.