Bruins Weekly: Home Sweet Home, Nosek, Lucic & More

Another week has passed on the 2022-23 season for the Boston Bruins and it was a perfect one with four wins. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, we look at home the Black and Gold are enjoying some home cooking, a former fan favorite, and Stanley Cup champion returned to Boston, a veteran finally gets a goal, and more.

Bruins Taking Advantage of Home Schedule in Historic Fashion

Before the season, there were a lot of questions as to how the Bruins would survive their early-season schedule without Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand, and Matt Grzelcyk, who were all recovering from off-season surgeries. Boston weathered the storm and then some, thanks in large part to a home-heavy front part of the schedule. After their 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 13, the Black and Gold are a perfect 9-0-0 on home ice at the TD Garden, which is the best start in franchise history to begin a season in 99 years.

Related: Bruins’ 3 Up, 3 Down: Depth Scoring, McAvoy, Krejci, Smith & More

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Things will even out eventually as the Bruins will have five more road games than home games after the Chicago Blackhawks visit on Nov. 19, but Boston is doing what good teams do, they are banking points on home ice. Teams can only play the schedule in front of them, but things are going to get harder in terms of future opponents on their schedule and they will get each team’s best effort night in and night out.

Nosek Finds the Back of the Net

The Bruins depth scoring in their first 16 games has been one of the biggest stories of the 2022-23 season. Twenty different players have scored at least one goal and the latest player to add his name to that list was Tomas Nosek when he sealed the win over the Canucks with an empty-net goal while Boston was shorthanded.

Tomas Nosek Boston Bruins
Tomas Nosek, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Nosek’s goal was his first since Jan. 2 and went over a span of 65 games. Primarily a fourth-line center, Nosek has been a valuable part of the Bruins’ top-ranked penalty kill this season, while also drawing late-game assignments from coach Jim Montgomery as an extra center on the ice for face-offs. When the puck went into the net, there was a sigh of relief from Nosek who hit the dead center of the net from about 175 feet away.

“I mean you are a forward – I know it’s not my main job to score goals, but it is important, too, to score some goals at least once in a while. Sometimes it was frustrating, but how I said before I just try to keep my head in the game and focus on my game and now it’s over and I’m glad it’s over.”

Tomas Nosek

Nosek has had chances to score this season with his best chances being on a 2-on-1 with Hampus Lindholm in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 1, but his shot that beat Tristan Jarry rang off the post. Maybe seeing the puck going into an empty net will give the 29-year-old some confidence.

Earlier in the game, Vancouver’s Derek Burroughs lined up and delivered a clean hit on David Paastrnak, but Nosek stuck up for the Bruins leading scorer and dropped the gloves with Burroughs. Nosek received 17 minutes in penalties, but it was a move not lost by his teammates or his coach.

Milan Lucic Makes Return to TD Garden

When the Calgary Flames made their only TD Garden appearance on Nov. 10 in a 3-1 Bruins win, it marked another return to Boston for fan-favorite Milan Lucic. A key part of Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup championship team, Lucic spent the first eight of his seasons with the Black and Gold before being traded right before the 2015 Entry Draft to the Los Angeles Kings for Martin Jones, Colin Miller, and the Kings’ 13th overall pick in 2015, which turned out to be current Bruins blueliner Jakub Zboril. Lucic spoke before the game about his time in Boston.

“It’s one of those sports towns that you can’t really explain unless you’re in it,” Lucic said. “They live and die by it, so whether it’s the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, they have your back 100% and if the team’s rolling, then the city and fans are rolling with you. The fans are a big reason what makes this place so hard to play in. I think it’s a reason why (the Bruins) have gotten off to such a good start as well.”

Milan Lucic Calgary Flames
Milan Lucic, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In his eight seasons in Boston, Lucic had 139 goals and 203 assists in 556 regular season games. The Bruins made the playoffs in seven of those eight seasons and he had 26 goals and 35 assists in 96 postseason games, including five goals and 12 assists in 25 games in the 2011 playoffs during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup.

Another former Bruin made an appearance last week at the TD Garden. Once thought of as Boston’s top prospect, Jack Studnicka was traded to the Canucks on Oct. 27. He played status in Vancouver’s loss, but he is getting his chance in the NHL with his current team. Another former Bruin, Curtis Lazar, who signed as a free agent with the Canucks in July, did not play in the game as he is out with an injury.

Bruins Quotes of the Week

  • McAvoy on his season debut against the Flames: “It felt really good…it’s exciting to come back, and it’s always good to feel those things. This is the first time I’ve come in like this, not having preseason to get ready, so definitely nervous all day today. Excited – the good kind of nerves. To get out there, I knew I just wanted to play simpler. A couple real quick shifts to get me in, and I felt like it went well.”
  • Montgomery on McAvoy’s presence in the lineup: “He’s fun to watch. It’s a lot more fun coaching with him than against him. Just his skating, his ability to create, how many pucks he kept alive in the offensive zone by pinching pucks on walls and then carrying them down and making possession plays.”
  • Jakub Zboril on scoring his first NHL goal against the Buffalo Sabres: “I feel good and bad. I don’t think I deserved it today, but I waited long enough for it and it feels really good to finally be rewarded.” 

Bruins Week Ahead

  • Thursday: vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 7 p.m.
  • Monday: at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.

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