With their 2-0 preseason start, the Boston Bruins might as well get the Duck Boats ready.
Okay, maybe we jumped the gun a little bit – after all, the Black and Gold begin their 2013-14 regular season two weeks from tomorrow night. But nonetheless, the B’s victories over the Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals these last two nights were impressive.
Head coach Claude Julien will try to work out some kinks before Thursday’s preseason home opener against the Detroit Red Wings. But, for now, here are three takeaways from the Bruins’ first two exhibition contests.
Iginla gives a boost on the first line
In one game, Jarome Iginla is fitting in quite nicely.
Filling Nathan Horton’s void on the first line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, Iginla tallied two goals – including one on the power play – in over 17 minutes of ice time. Moreover, his presence on the power play was equally impressive as the B’s went 4-for-6 on the man advantage.
The top line factored into three of the Bruins’ six goals Monday night. Lucic notched three assists, while Krejci netted a power play goal at 12:31 of the third.
Yes, Iginla is getting older, and he might not pop 40 goals during the 2013-14 campaign. But a productive 25-30 goal season and 60 or more points would be more than productive for the 36-year old veteran. As for Krejci and Lucic, the best could be yet to come. The two seem to be picking up right where they left off during last year’s postseason.
“This was my first chance to play with [Lucic and Krejci] and see them up close,” Iginla said after Monday’s 6-3 win. “I see how strong they are and I can see why they have a lot of success. I had some fun out there.”
Trotman enters the blue-line conversation
Coming into camp, it was widely speculated that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski would fight for the final two spots on the Bruins blue-line. All three saw some playoff action last year, and all three more than held their own.
Through two preseason games, all three are making their case for the spots on the Bruins defense. But another young blue-liner, Zach Trotman, has entered the discussion.
In 19 minutes of ice time Monday night, Trotman tallied a third period goal and notched two hits. The 6-foot-3 defenseman has been paired with Zdeno Chara during training camp, and it seems he’s been taking some good advice from the B’s captain.
Maybe he won’t make the opening night roster, but Trotman is making things interesting. And don’t be surprised if he gets called up for a few games with the Black and Gold in 2013-14.
Svedberg the favorite to be the back up to Tuukka
So much for Chad Johnson trying to be the Bruins’ backup this season.
In his first game of preseason action, the former Ranger and Coyote allowed three goals on eight shots. The numbers certainly didn’t lie as Johnson was certainly shaky in the first and second periods. His movement was slow between the pipes and his glove malfunction is a major concern.
Niklas Svedberg, on the other hand, played pretty well in the shootout win Tuesday night. The reigning AHL Rookie of the Year did well in relief of Tuukka Rask and persevered in the shootout to earn his team the win.
Not to be outdone, Malcolm Subban stopped all 12 shots he faced Monday night to earn a “half shutout.” The former first round pick should get well acquainted down in Providence in his first professional season.