In this latest edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Jeremy Swayman returned to action on Saturday (Nov. 19) and secured a win against the Chicago Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Tomas Nosek scored his first goal in 65 regular-season games against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 13 and has not shown any signs of slowing down since. In other news, Boston Hockey Now writer Jimmy Murphy reported that an NHL executive told him that “Patrick Kane and the Bruins make a lot of sense.”
Swayman Wins in Return
Swayman’s return to game action could not have gone much better for the 23-year-old goaltender. Although it was a fairly easy night for him against the Blackhawks, he played well when challenged, as he made 17 saves on 18 shots. His strong play in goal and the Bruins’ offensive explosion (six goals) led to a fairly easy win over the rebuilding Blackhawks.
With the win, Swayman improved his record to 3-1-0. He also now sports a 2.82 goals-against average (GAA) and .890 save percentage (SV%), so his stats have slowly been improving since his disastrous performance against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 18 (six goals allowed on 25 shots). He has bounced back quite well since, and it will be intriguing to see if he can maintain this play moving forward now that he is fully healthy.
Nosek Scores First Goal in 65 Regular-Season Games
After failing to score a goal in 65 straight regular-season games, Nosek finally broke the ice last week against the Canucks by scoring an empty netter. It was excellent to see the 30-year-old center get back on the scoresheet, and now he’s showing signs that it could occur far more often. On Thursday (Nov. 17) against the Philadelphia Flyers, he scored another goal and then recorded an assist against the Blackhawks in the following contest. That improved his point streak to five games, and that kind of production is quite rare from the defense-first forward.
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If Nosek can continue to provide decent secondary scoring moving forward, it will only make the league-best Bruins even more difficult to play against. However, even when he’s not much of a factor offensively, his strong defensive play will always make him a valuable asset when inserted into the lineup.
Kane to the Bruins?
With the Bruins being at the top of the NHL, it makes sense that they are being linked to Kane. The future Hall of Famer is arguably the top rental candidate heading into the trade deadline, and the Bruins are very much in win-now mode due to their older core. Thus, it isn’t surprising to hear that Murphy’s source sees the possibility of the Bruins making a push for Kane. However, until they figure out their major salary cap issues, the chances of this occurring are very slim. Yet, the 2023 Trade Deadline is not until March 3, so there is plenty of time for things to change on that front.
In any move centering around Kane, the Blackhawks and a third team would need to help retain salary. With that, Boston would need to part ways with at least one notable NHL player, a top prospect, and a first-round pick. The price would certainly be high, but if this kind of move would be the final piece of the puzzle for the Bruins, would it be worth it? He surely would make their top six unstoppable, but due to his no-movement clause (NMC), he of course would need to accept a move to Boston first.
Mike Reilly Makes Providence Bruins Debut
Mike Reilly made his debut for the Providence Bruins on Friday (Nov. 18), and it’s fair to say that the 29-year-old defenseman performed well during it. On the night, he scored a goal and recorded an assist. This was good to see from the Chicago native, as if he continues to put together performances like this in the American Hockey League (AHL), it could help his chances of getting his wish of being traded.
As I wrote about last week, Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal reported that Reilly is hoping for a trade, but he’s not sure if “there is something in the works or not.” With Reilly clearing waivers twice, it would be understandable if it takes the Bruins a bit of time to find him a new home. His $3 million cap hit until the end of the 2023-24 season is also a major obstacle in trade talks. Yet, if he continues to dominate in the AHL, perhaps a market will form for him if the Bruins make it known that they are willing to add a sweetener in any trade centering around him.
Bruins Tie NHL Record
With their victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday, the Bruins tied an NHL record by winning 11 straight home games to start the season. The Florida Panthers accomplished this same feat last season, while the Blackhawks did it back in 1963-64. However, neither of those two teams won the Stanley Cup in their respective seasons. The Bruins will of course be hoping for a different outcome.
Still, it’s truly remarkable that the Bruins have started the 2022-23 season so amazingly. Many people believed that this was going to be the year that they finally fell off, as they started the season without stars Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy. Yet, they have instead been the best team in all of hockey, as their 16-2-0 record and league-leading 32 points effectively show. Now, we will have to wait and see if they can make it 12 straight home wins when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes Friday afternoon (Nov. 25).
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL Trade Rumors.