Bruins Motivated to Beat Golden Knights

The Boston Bruins aren’t fans of losing in the 2022-23 season, and they’ll look to avoid a second-consecutive loss for the first time this season when they take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night. The Bruins would falter to the Arizona Coyotes in the waning seconds of their game Friday in a 4-3 loss. This defeat would come just two games after the Bruins lost their first game at home this season to the Golden Knights and former Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy in a shootout Monday.

Jim Montgomery Boston Bruins head coach
Jim Montgomery and the Boston Bruins are looking to avoid their second-consecutive loss to the Golden Knights, and second-consecutive loss overall after losing to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Suffice it to say, there will be some extra motivation heading into Sunday’s tilt, and head coach Jim Montgomery would mention as much when asked about it.

Sign up for our regular 'Bruins Newsletter' for all the latest.

“I do because of the way they practiced,” said Montgomery when asked about whether he believed the team had extra incentive to take two points from Vegas. “They practiced like they want to be good. It’s a little bit of a thing for us is we don’t want to lose two in a row. Last night, we lost a game so [Sunday] night’s important to us.”

Latest News & Highlights

Bruins Taking Precautions With Krejci’s Health

One player missing from Saturday’s practice was David Krejci. The veteran center would briefly leave the Bruins’ game against the Coyotes and would sit out Saturday for a maintenance day. As Montgomery would state, the decision was made to give Krejci a chance to rest and be best prepared for Sunday. Still, Montgomery wouldn’t commit to Krejci being in the lineup Sunday when asked if there would be any tweaks coming to the lineup (though it should be noted that his comments didn’t seem to indicate that any change was imminent).

David Krejci Boston Bruins
David Krejci has a maintenance day Saturday but still could suit up for the Boston Bruins on Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“Not that we know of,” said Montgomery of potential lineup changes. “I don’t know if we’re gonna make a change or not. We’ve got to see how everybody shakes out, especially Krech, how he feels [Sunday].”

One player who would benefit from Krejci playing against the Golden Knights would be linemate David Pastrnak. The 26-year-old has been red-hot once again this season and has scored a goal in four straight contests and in eight of his last nine. He’s found a way to be effective on offense regardless of situation and regardless of who’s next to him, but Krejci is certainly a player he excels alongside. This season, though, Pastrnak has scored 19 goals and 37 points in just 26 games.

Related: Bruins Weekly: Cassidy Returns and Ends Historic Winning Streak

“He’s just uber talented,” Montgomery said of Pastrnak. “He finds different ways to score every night. He creates scoring chances all the time 5-on-5 and 5-on-4. They’re sitting on him 5-on-4 and you see him go up top, sometimes you see him go back post. He’s hard to check…he has better hockey sense than everybody else. His vision, he knows where he wants to go, he sees an opening before a defensive player sees where he’s gonna be going. He has a little bit of a half-second advantage to hit that.”

If the Bruins are going to beat the Golden Knights, they’ll need to be playing at their very best. The Golden Knights are among the NHL’s elite teams this year, and they’re also among a very small list of teams who have already beaten the Bruins this season. If the Bruins are as motivated as Montgomery has made it sound, then Sunday should be a classic between two teams who very well could find themselves matched up in the Stanley Cup Final this season if they play their cards correctly. Avoiding their first losing streak will also add some fuel to the fire.

The Bruins will almost certainly lose more than one game in a row at some point this season, but they’ll do their best to avoid it coming at the hands of their old head coach Sunday night. While it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, there will always be something to be said about winning when it counts.