( Photo by Jim Rogash / Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Yesterday afternoon the Philadelphia Flyers were at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, to play the host Boston Bruins at the midpoint of the 2022 preseason schedule. Boston came into yesterday’s matinee action with a 1-1-0, while the Flyers had a 1-2-0 preseason record. While the first two exhibition games saw younger talent showcasing their skills, Saturday afternoon’s game had more veterans and a roster close to what could be seen to start the 2022-23 season.

With a heavy veteran lineup, Bruins Head Coach Jim Montgomery wanted to get more looks from some youth who are making decisions hard for the NHL organization. Bruins prospects forward John Beecher, forward Fabian Lysell, forward Marc McLaughlin, defenseman Nick Wolf, and defenseman Kia Wissmann were all in the lineup for further game evaluations.

The game’s stars against the Flyers on Saturday afternoon were the line of Trent Frederic, John Beecher, and Marc McLaughlin, which produced six points together and, of course, the 21-save shutout for goaltender Linus Ullmark. I thought Frederic had a jump in his step against the Flyers and recovered nicely after the showing in the game on Tuesday night against the Rangers in preseason game two.

Fabian Lysell, who slotted in for David Pastrnak yesterday against Philly, looked ok in his minimal action and had a few scoring chances in the first period alongside Patrice Bergeron and Pavel Zacha on the first line. Unfortunately, in the second period, 2021 first-round selection Lysell took a strange hit in the corner seen below and immediately was escorted right down the tunnel to be looked at by trainers and medical professionals.

In a post-game press conference, Head Coach Montgomery told attending media that Lysell will most likely miss a practice and not a huge concern about missing any length of time. Also injured in the game was veteran forward Taylor Hall, who tweaked something late in the second period against the Flyers. Montgomery said the same about Hall having a minor injury and possibly only missing a practice. Some good news from two instances which could’ve been a lot worse thinking about starting the 2022-23 campaign already shorthanded with defenseman Charlie McAvoy, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, and forward Brad Marchand. All three are rumored to be out until late November or mid-December.

After a scoreless opening frame in yesterday’s Bruins-Flyers game, the scoring started from Billerica, Massachusetts native Marc McLaughlin in the second period as he tipped a shot on goal from defenseman Jack Ahcan on the power play. As seen below in this man advantage, Ahcan smartly got the puck quickly to the net from the blueline while McLaughlin set up position in front to get a piece of the puck, redirecting it for the goal. This type of play and effort offensively from the backend is a perfect example of what Montgomery and new Assistant Head Coach John Gruden have been preaching about generating more offense from the team’s blueliners.

The game’s second goal came once again from McLaughlin, who started an aggressive third period with his second goal. On this goal below from McLaughlin, you can see him working hard, owning the ice in front of the crease. Marc constantly took shots with Patrice Bergeron, who was also close by for a loose puck, and finally, the Billerica native whacked the puck across the line for a 2-0 lead.

Fellow linemate and B’s prospect John Beecher got the Bruins to a 3-0 lead after a pass from defenseman Derek Forbort that hit Beecher’s skate and legally crossed the line. Another example of offense from the backend in this play below is how smart Forbort was surveying the situation and seeing the layers created as the B’s try to get the puck to the goal unconventionally.

The game’s final goal and second of the night against the Flyers at TD Garden came late in the third period from John Beecher, who used his speed effectively to chase down the puck off the boards and into the yawning net. The goal was set up by Trent Frederic, who was covered and quickly got the puck to defenseman Nick Wolf who fired the puck out of the zone for Beecher to track done for the empty net goal and ultimately the 4-0 victory on home ice.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark played well in this game regardless of how tilted the ice seemed in a 4-0 shutout preseason victory. Sometimes it seemed he didn’t see a lot of action, but he was sharp when the Flyers had possession in offensive zone entries. I was impressed with Ullmarks quick reactions with pad saves and how those shots were directed in areas that created opportunities for the quick transitional offense.

All-in-all, the game against the Flyers was another good test for both veterans, who will most likely lock down a roster spot to start the 2022-23 regular season. It was also another exhibition game where the B’s coaching staff and management will have some tough decisions moving forward, particularly players such as John Beecher, Fabian Lysell, and Marc McLaughlin.

In my opinion, Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell is a fantastic player and is a work-in-progress, but I haven’t seen enough of him that screams to me that he’s earned an NHL roster spot to start the upcoming year. I believe a full year with the AHL Providence Bruins will benefit Lysell and B’s organization. If Lysell reports to the AHL Bruins, he’ll enter his first year of professional hockey and get a better feel of how the B’s system works as he continues to develop.

Beecher and McLaughlin are the two forward players with a solid chance to stay with the NHL Bruins for the remaining three games in the preseason. Year-by-year Bruins coaching and management have preached that if a younger member of the organization is the better player out of training camp, they’ll get the chance to play.

So far, at least to me, Beecher has outperformed veteran centerman Tomas Nosek, who’s in his last year of a two-year contract at $1.7 million. McLaughlin, again, in my opinion, has shown he could be a better asset on the third line right wing over veteran forward Craig Smith, who’s also in his final year of a three-year contract worth $3.1 million. Smith’s AAV could be moved for a middle-round draft pick and get the NHL Bruins salary cap compliant by the time the puck drops on October 12th, 2022, in Washington, DC. against the host Washington Capitals.