By: Joe Todd | Follow me on Twitter @heyjoetodd
The Bruins hammered the Capitals 7-3 on January 10th (you can read my thoughts about that game here). This game would be much more competitive with both teams throwing their weight around. Unfortunately, the Bruins would come away limping from their battle with both Marchand and Blidh leaving the game due to upper-body injuries. The Bruins would lose the physical battle but ultimately win the war, defeating the Capitals 4-3 to get back in the win column.
No issue with the hit by Tom Wilson on Anton Blidh. That is a hard, clean check with an unfortunate injury as a result. McAvoy followed up with a huge hit of his own on Trevor Van Riemsdyk. Funny enough, TVR was the lone Caps player around to see if Blidh was alright. But this is the kind of response you want to see from Charlie McAvoy. A statement hit WITHOUT taking a penalty.
Today I wrote about what the Bruins should do with Trent Frederic. This would have been a game you would pay good money to attend to see him and Tom Wilson throw down for the third time. After that Blidh hit, no doubt Frederic would have wanted to fight, and he would have received an instigator or roughing penalty during a 1-1 game. That is why I think he should be traded for help now.
I am not sure if I am just souring on a player who has already requested a trade out of Boston, but every time DeBrusk had the puck in the first and second period, he looked checked out. His breakaway attempt was one of the most lackadaisical attempts I have seen for a player that was all alone from the red line. He had another attempt to charge toward the net during the rush on the penalty kill but instead let off a weak one-handed backhand. To be fair, it was towards the end of his shift, but you must try harder than that if the Bruins are going to be able to fulfill your trade request.
However, DeBrusk would finish his night on the first line with Bergeron and Smith after Marchand left the game due to injury. This seemed to spark DeBrusk as he played with a little more drive and compete. He was credited with the third goal for the Bruins as he threw the puck on net that ended up bouncing in off the defender. He would finish the game with a gorgeous set up to find McAvoy for the game-winner. THAT is how you drive your trade value UP.
Forbort has been playing too tentative since returning to the lineup from COVID protocol. He could not close quickly enough on Kuznetsov and provided Ullmark with a screen resulting in the first goal of the game. Forbort either needs to let Ullmark see that cleanly or aggressively attack Kuznetsov to avoid that shot from getting through.
He got beat in a lot of puck races tonight, and while I do not expect him to keep the pace with charging forwards, I do expect him to make life difficult on those trying to get by him. His PK work is excellent, but his even-strength defense leaves a lot to be desired. He is a minus four since returning to the lineup. Forbort would draw a tripping penalty on Nic Dowd that ultimately led to the game-winner. If the Bruins trade for another left-side defenseman, do you expect Cassidy to bench Forbort after Sweeney signed him for three years?
Todd’s and Ends
Get Foligno off PP1. It has not worked. Nick Ritchie did a better job in the same role.
Two goals for Pasta, two assists for Haula, and one assist for Hall. Second-line keeps rolling.
The Capitals having the 28th ranked powerplay in the league was a statistic I had to double-check. Only New Jersey, Detroit, Arizona, and Montreal are worse. Apparently, having the greatest powerplay goal scorer in NHL history is not enough for the Capitals.
Can we retire this third jersey? It seems like we wear it more than our regular home jerseys. A little boring for my taste. I would prefer to see the reverse retros return.
Let’s all hope that the injuries to Marchand and Blidh are not serious.