It was a very busy full week of the 2022-23 regular season for the Boston Bruins with four games. They were able to win three out of the four games despite playing with a depleted roster, especially on defense. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, we will look back at some milestones for a member of the Black and Gold, some former teammates returned to the TD Garden ice, a prospects impact, and more.
Lauko Makes NHL Debut
In the third round of the 2018 Entry Draft, the Bruins selected Jakub Lauko and the speedy left wing made his NHL debut in the season-opening win over the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12. He was the first player chosen in that class to make his debut for Boston. It was an impressive debut as he drew two penalties in the game with his speed and gritty work on the fourth line. He opened the season on the first shift with Tomas Nosek and Nick Foligno. In three games, he’s drawn three penalties and picked up his first NHL point with an assist against the Ottawa Senators.
“When Monty said I was gonna go, I was like, ‘OK this is gonna be interesting,” Lauko said. “But I was actually happy because I didn’t have any time to be nervous, just jumped right into it and didn’t have to wait two, three, four minutes on the bench and waiting, shaking…is this the moment, is this it? Just jumped right into it. I think we had a pretty nice shift to start.”
Related: Bruins Rookie Spotlight: Jakub Lauko
Lauko has been making an impact early in the season and even appeared to score his first career NHL goal against Arizona in the second period, but it was called back when the referee deemed there was goaltender interference when Foligno attempted to get to the front of the net coming out of the corner. He has been a nice solid addition to the fourth line early in the season.
Foligno Reaches Milestone
Six days after being one of three Bruins players placed on waivers along with Chris Wagner and Mike Reilly, Foligno cleared waivers with the rest of his teammates and found himself back in first-year coach Jim Montgomery’s lineup. Against the Coyotes, Foligno picked up an assist on Pavel Zacha first period power play goal, before he scored his first goal of the season in the second period when he redirected Connor Clifton’s shot from the point.
When he picked up an assist on Zacha’s goal, it was Foligno’s 500th career point. In his 16 years in the NHL, Foligno has played for four different teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and now the Bruins.
Bergeron Passes Middleton
Patrice Bergeron continues to climb the Bruins’ franchise record list for goals. His second-period goal in a win over the Florida Panthers on Oct. 17 tied him with Rick Middleton for third on the all-time franchise list with 402 goals. He passed him one night later against the Ottawa Senators in a 7-5 loss when he scored a first-period goal. Phil Esposito is next with 459 goals and John Bucyk leads the list with 545.
Ritchie & Brown Return to TD Garden
When the Arizona Coyotes arrived at the TD Garden on Oct. 15, they did so with two former Bruins’. Nick Ritchie and Josh Brown are both now teammates in Arizona, although both had different stints in Boston.
Ritchie was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline in 2020 for Danton Heinen. Ritchie had 16 goals and 12 assists with the Black and Gold over 63 games in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Following the 56-game shortened 2020-21 season, Ritchie was a restricted free agent (RFA) but was not given a qualifying offer from Boston and became a restricted free agent and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brown was acquired from the Senators last March, but played in just six games after the trade and one playoff game against the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round.
After scoring both goals in Arizona’s 6-2 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 13, Ritchie was held off of the scoresheet, but Brown found the back of the net for the Coyotes early in the third period. It’s going to be a long-term rebuilding process for Arizona, which is just in the early stages of it.
Renouf Makes Bruins Debut
Brandon Carlo went down with an upper-body injury at the end of the first period of the Bruins’ win over the Coyotes and it leaves yet another open spot on an already thin Boston defensive group. It was a hard hit from Arizona’s Liam O’Brien and Carlo’s head snapped back quickly. There is some concern for the Black and Gold’s big defenseman considering his concussion history.
On Sunday, the Bruins called up Dan Renouf from the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL) and he made his Boston debut in the 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Oct. 17. Renouf played 11:34 against Florida with five shots on the net, but he played like Carlo, a big bruising defenseman that is not afraid to defend a teammate or make a big hit. He was reassigned to Providence ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Senators.
Bruins Quotes of the Week
- Montgomery on Matt Grzelcyk returning to the lineup sooner rather than later: “I think he’s getting closer every day,” said Montgomery. “It’s just a timing issue and getting used to some practice reps so that he’s used to the timing of his breakouts, joining the play, transition to offense, just things that while you’re out your brain’s not wired that way, it’s getting that muscle memory back in his game. I’d be shocked if he didn’t play by the end of next weekend.”
- Montgomery on joining in on the Bruins goalie hug with Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark after practice on Oct. 14: “They caught a joke on me,” said a smiling Montgomery. “I said, ‘We need some shooters in these nets, stop hugging it out.’ And they said, ‘Do you want a hug?’ And so, I don’t say no to my kids, so I’m not going to say no to my goalies.” (from ‘Trent Frederic swaps in for injured Jake DeBrusk for Bruins,’ Boston Globe, Oct. 14, 2022).
- David Krejci on playing his first NHL game since June of 2021 after playing in Czechia last season: “It was great. Just being around the guys, playing in an NHL rink against the best players in the world, it tests your game a little bit,’ said Krejci. “I was excited, a little nervous at the same time. Glad we got it done.”
- Montgomery on the “big turning point” in the win over the Panthers: “I love the way we’re battling for each other,” he said. “You had Danny Renouf, A.J. Greer, you have everybody in there. I didn’t see the hit, obviously, they were trying to get after Nosek. We were five, we were a pack of wolves in there together. And after that, I thought we had our best three minutes of the game, and we were down to three lines. I think it speaks volumes about how hard they play for each other in that room.”
Bruins Week Ahead
- Thursday: vs. Anaheim Ducks, 7 p.m.
- Saturday: vs. Minnesota Wild, 1 p.m.
- Tuesday: vs. Dallas Stars, 7 p.m.