Monday, September 16, 2013

They're Baaaaaaaack

This may be hard to imagine, but this is the perfect parallel to draw when is comes to preseason sports....

How many fans actually care about preseason football? Do many individuals turn into spring training games? What about those meaningless basketball games in early October? Preseason games, arguably, mean very little to very many. 

However, this is the city of Boston, a city known for its hockey.

Beantown has been notoriously anxious about the start of the upcoming season for the Boston Bruins. Yes, this will be a full 82-game marathon this time around. This will also be the debut season of the new NHL realignment that will feature four "mini" conferences. In addition, everyone will play everyone multiple times. We will see teams at the TD Garden that do not come through here often and that is a real treat. 

That will happen soon enough. To kick off this preseason, the B's were in action on Monday against a team they are all too familiar with...the Montreal Canadiens. This was the first of four preseason games played by the B's this week.

The Bruins did go out and add a couple of key pieces in addition to re-signing their core players. All of those stories, including the plethora of ones regarding their key departures, have been covered all throughout the summer. There is no need to harp on the obvious. With that being said, there is another story to keep an eye on this year. How will the "new-look" B's match up against the Habs? 

The Canadiens are poised to make a legitimate run at Lord Stanley's Cup this upcoming June. Just like for the Bruins, the first step to that journey for Montreal began on Monday night.

This was a split-squad exhibition that featured a mixture of veterans and "young bloods" from both sides. While Carey Price got the start in net for the Habs, Chad Johnson was in net for the Bruins.

Johnson, the expected back-up goaltender for Tuukka Rask this season, allowed three goals in just 30 minutes of work. He was pulled for Malcolm Subban mid-way through the second period and held the Canadiens scoreless. 

Nick Johnson recorded two goals for the Bruins in this game. He certainly made his case to earn a spot on the roster come October. Also, Jarome Iginla got on the scoring sheet for the Black and Gold by netting two goals himself. Milan Lucic and Torey Krug each recorded three assists in the 6-3 victory.

On the other hand, Carl Soderberg played very recklessly and picked up a couple of silly penalties in this game. Even though he is only in his second year in the NHL, he is 27 years of age. His window for impressing management is narrowing and he needs to play better.

The Bruins will be in action three more times this week, starting on Tuesday when they take on the Washington Capitals.

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