Bruins Notes: Brad Marchand’s Message To Bench After Jaroslav Halak’s Miscue


Aug 15, 2020

Considering he got the start on relatively short notice, Jaroslav Halak delivered an admirable performance Saturday afternoon in Toronto.

Halak turned away 29 shots en route to a 3-1 Boston Bruins victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup. The Bruins now hold a 2-1 series lead.

But things looked uncertain for a moment due to a gaffe from Halak.

With the Bruins up 2-0 in the third period, Halak went to retrieve a dumped-in puck behind the net, but he held onto it for too long and Vincent Trocheck crashed in on the forecheck. That caused the netminder to flip the puck up and away, but Nino Niederreiter was right in front, batted it down and buried it into the wide-open net at 6:30 in the frame.

It could have unravelled things for the Bruins, but it didn’t. And it appears that started with Brad Marchand’s message to the bench immediately after the goalie’s misstep.

“Jaro, he tried to get the clear, they read it well,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “But right away on the bench Brad Marchand stands up, hey that’s not going to hurt us, we’re fine, we’re playing well. That’s true the whole bench was like that. I think there was no collective let down like, oh boy here it comes.”

So, what did happen on that play?

“Mistakes, they happen. We try to make the right play out there, I saw an opening, I tried to shoot it out and the guy caught it,” Halak explained after the game. “So it ended up in the net, but we were still up. And I know I gave them a little bit of life, but I think we responded the right way and kept playing the right way until the end.”

More: Watch Sean Kuraly Score Shorthanded Goal, Double Bruins’ Lead Vs. Hurricanes

Here are some other notes from Bruins-Hurricanes Game 3:

— While the most notable lineup change was in net, the Bruins had a number of different personnel on the ice Saturday.

David Pastrnak (unfit to participate), Nick Ritchie (healthy scratch) and Karson Kuhlman (healthy scratch) all did not play. As a result, Anders Bjork skated on the first line, Jack Studnicka the third and Par Lindholm the fourth. Then on the back end, Connor Clifton replaced Jeremy Lauzon as Matt Grzelcyk’s partner on the third defensive pairing.

It turned out to be a series of shrewd moves by Cassidy for the most part, as the Sean Kuraly-Charlie Coyle-Studnicka line showed good jump and, at the very least, looked like they had played together before. Lindholm was a nice fill-in as the fourth-line center, and Clifton also provided his typical jolt of energy.

Seeing everyone step up and answer the bell in a big moment elicited a good bit of pride from Cassidy.

“Yeah that’s a good word proud because that’s the first word I used after the game,” Cassidy said. “You know, proud of Jaro for answering the call on short notice, proud of the young guys that are playing, some of the like Lindholm and not that he’s young, but it’s you know first real (action). Jack Studnicka, Clifton comes into the lineup, proud of the way they responded and proud of the way the whole team played.”

— The Bjork move didn’t pan out too well though, and he finished with a team-low 7:05 ice time.

He committed three penalties — two slashes and a trip — and just seemed overwhelmed defensively given the matchups the Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Bjork first line was tasked with.

Regardless of whether Pastrnak is ready for Game 4, it seems highly unlikely Bjork will be back riding shotgun on the first line.

— With Rask out, Dan Vladar was Halak’s backup for Saturday’s game.

Both Vladar and Maxime Lagace travelled with the team to Toronto, so there could be something of a battle now brewing for the role as Boston’s backup netminder.

Vladar has been called up to the NHL before but never played in a game, while Lagace has played in 17 NHL games over the course of his career, all with the Vegas Golden Knights.

More Bruins: Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle Support Tuukka Rask’s Decision To Opt Out

Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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