The Boston Bruins got their preseason off to a near perfect start Sunday night with a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Starring in the win we’re a number a players fighting for that forever illusive opening night roster spot, and a couple of Bruins didn’t do any harm to their chances of cracking the big leagues roster.
No one impressed or stood out more than offseason acquisition Matt Irwin. The 27 year old defenseman was brought in to strengthen a defense that had lost some of its might this offseason, and It didn’t take long for Irwin to get noticed with a two goal power play display Sunday night.
Although the Bruins already have various special team weapons on defense (Krug, Chara), you can never quite have enough firepower on the powerplay. Despite being brought in to sure-up the defense more than aid it offensively, it’s a pleasant surprise for many to see the offense, especially on the powerplay, be this prominent so early.
The leadership role that Irwin took up was also evident on Sunday night, mainly down to the fact he was playing alongside a lot of younger prospects. Although this won’t be the case come October 8th, this Bruins team is going to be a lot younger than its been in previous years, and that leadership could go alongway.
Although Matt Irwin was the standout, it’d be unfair to ignore that the Bruins were kept in the game solely thanks to goaltending duo Jonas Gustavsson and Jeremy Smith, who’s poised efforts led the Bruins to a shutout win.
Yes, it’s preseason. Yes, it’s early. But every game and every shift could be the last for a lot of these prospects pushing for an NHL spot. So attention to detail is vital.