December 5, 2023


“He is an actual nice participant,” Milan Lucic stated.

Boston’s Brad Marchand skates with rookie No. 1 decide Conor Bedard. Maddie Meyer/Getty Photographs

The gold carpet. The pregame ceremony that includes quite a few Bruins legends. Connor Bedard’s second profession sport. Taylor Corridor and Nick Foligno’s returns. Brad Marchand’s first sport as captain.

The pomp and circumstance of Wednesday’s season opener at TD Backyard offered loads of intrigue. Nevertheless it was all enterprise at puck drop.

The Bruins got here out engaged, however fell behind 1-0 after Bedard netted his first profession tally on a wraparound at 5:37 of the opening body.

Bedard had one other eventful evening, however the Bruins managed to rattle him a tad. The highest general decide from the summer season’s entry draft encountered a few run-ins with Marchand, with one leading to Bedard’s first profession penalty.

The previous Regina Pat wasn’t the one shining teenager on the evening. The Bruins had their very own younger standout on show for the equalizer as Matthew Poitras arrange a Brandon Carlo one-timer and a Trent Frederic tip for Poitras’s first NHL level on Boston’s first-period equalizer.

With a handful of his fellow 2011 teammates in attendance, a returning Milan Lucic made a visit down reminiscence lane with David Pastrnak. The veteran energy ahead delivered a well timed feed to the Czech playmaker to provide the Bruins the 2-1 lead at 13:09 of the center stanza.

A chippy third interval started with Jason Dickinson taking exception to John Beecher’s hit from behind on Cole Guttman 3:12 in. It continued with Bedard taking a spill on a scoring likelihood with beneath 5 minutes left in regulation. In the long run, the Bruins secured their first win of the season on Pastrnak’s empty netter.

With a number of Bruins legends in attendance to kick off the centennial season, right here’s what we realized from Boston’s 3-1 victory.

Bedard caught the Bruins’ consideration.

The hype surrounding Bedard’s debut took heart stage in Pittsburgh Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, he encountered a number of extra “welcome to the NHL moments.”

The transitional Bruins dealt with Bedard moderately properly after the proficient rookie notched his first NHL objective. Whether or not it was Marchand poking Bedard into the house bench and goading him right into a retaliatory penalty within the center body or Boston’s D hemming in his try for the equalizer late within the third, the Bruins stayed inside their layers to attenuate his influence.

Via their makes an attempt to disrupt Bedard, nonetheless, the Bruins discovered he was definitely worth the hype. And though simply two NHL video games, they sense a blossoming profession forward for Bedard.

“He’s a extremely good hockey participant,” head coach Jim Montgomery stated of Bedard. “We had been conscious of him. He created time and area. I don’t suppose our checking is the place it must be irrespective of who it’s, and you then get a superb participant like that, he’s going to interrupt free.”

“He’s an actual nice participant,” Lucic stated. “I noticed him play [against the Penguins]. Actually elite ability, elite skater, nice imaginative and prescient…clearly an unbelievable shot. He’s solely two video games in, however I feel he’s going to maintain getting higher and higher, and he’s going to be the actual deal.”

Lucic is aware of a factor or two about elite skills. For 2 seasons, he witnessed Connor McDavid grow to be an elite famous person with the Oilers.

However little did Lucic know that he’d reunite with one other upper-echelon goal-scorer when he donned the Bruins sweater for the primary time eight years.

Lucic’s reunion with Pastrnak highlights in-game adjustments.

Milan Lucic
Bruins ahead Milan Lucic. – Maddie Meyer/Getty Photographs

With new faces, Montgomery is aware of the Bruins will want time to gel with their new linemates. Even then, that didn’t stop the second-year coach from making the required in-game lineup tweaks.

Lucic started the evening with John Beecher and Jakub Lauko on Boston’s fourth line. However Lucic’s skating and bodily engagement prompted a promotion to the highest six.

For a number of shifts within the second interval, Lucic moved alongside Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha, prompting James van Riemsdyk to fourth-line responsibility with Beecher and Lauko.

Montgomery felt van Riemsdyk skated properly but additionally wished to reward Lucic for his effort.

“I felt Lucic was skating properly, so I put him with Zacha and Pasta for a few shifts,” Montgomery stated. “I believed van Riemsdyk’s sport was actually good, and I instructed him that, ‘you’re not being punished and I’m simply spreading across the minutes.”

Montgomery’s adjustment paid off.

Lucic tallied his first level as a member of the Bruins since 2015, organising Pastrnak for his first of two tallies to place Boston forward for good.

For a pair of linemates who hadn’t skated collectively in over eight years, Lucic and Pastrnak picked up proper the place they left off.

“We had a few shifts there collectively, and we had been in a position to join on the objective there,” Lucic stated of the Pastrnak reunion. “It’s nice to get the win, enjoyable to contribute, and set the season off with an enormous one.”

With a number of greats from the 99 earlier seasons in attendance, the Bruins gave their legends and the remainder of the 17,850 in attendance a becoming outcome.

Bruins “soak in” the aura of the centennial celebration.

Lucic couldn’t assist himself.

Nor may his 19 different teammates on the bench.

The Bruins kicked off their centennial season in model with a gold carpet occasion hours earlier than the opening faceoff. The festivities continued earlier than the opening faceoff in a banners ceremony with a reunion that includes Stanley Cup-winning groups of the previous and the choose few who’ve their numbers up within the rafters.

The record included a who’s who of former Bruins, together with Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Terry O’Reilly, Rick Middleton, Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas, Gerry Cheevers, Brad Park, Terry O’Reilly, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci (to call a number of).

“I used to be simply soaking all of it in like a fan,” Lucic stated. “I’m on the bench going, ‘This was actually good to be part of, and an actual particular second for hockey historical past.’ To see all of the legends which are right here…former teammates, and to be part of the ceremony tonight was one thing particular to be part of. It simply provides to being again right here in Boston.”

However even a historic evening offered some firsts with Poitras and Beecher making their NHL debuts.

“Bobby Orr got here in earlier than the sport, and I acquired to shake his hand,” Poitras stated. “That was loopy.”

Poitras and Beecher impressed throughout camp. And it didn’t take them lengthy to compile some early profession highlights.

Beecher’s bout with Dickinson offered the rag-tag second of the evening. Poitras chimed in along with his first profession help, in the end setting Frederic for a tip-in try on Carlo’s shot, netting a wanted first-period equalizer.

“It’s an honor to play for a corporation like this with a lot historical past,” Poitras stated. “Watching that pregame video, I had chills taking place my backbone. So it will get you fired up, and clearly, you wish to play good with all these guys within the constructing.”

Poitras and Beecher ought to present extra moments as their careers progress. However the two will always remember the moments surrounding their first profession NHL sport.