Glendale, AZ --
Before the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky spoke about the Boston Bruins and what his team could expect during both teams' second game of the season.
"The Great One" might be able to add prognostication to his resume, because he called out some of the guys in Black & Gold who would have the lion's share of success against his team later that night.
"If we played them more often, we'd probably worry more about individual guys," said Gretzky prior to Saturday's game. "This is the first time we've seen them in two years and obviously they are a different team than the last time we saw them.
"Any time you have a guy out there like (Zdeno) Chara, who's going to play 30-minutes, you know he's (going) to be a big factor for them."
Chara did not play 30-minutes, but he did play 23:51, had four hits and added his first assist of the season.
"Bergeron is one of the more underrated players in the game," continued Gretzky. "And Savard is going to set up a lot of plays and make a lot of nice passes."
Bergeron did have a very nice contest -- he scored his second goal in two nights, played 18:29 and had nine face off wins.
Savard, a former roommate of Gretzky from their days with the Rangers, was his usual self until a core injury cut his night short. He had an assist, a hit, and four wins on the draw in just 9:46.
"And it is nice to see a young guy like Kessel come in with a lot of energy and some flair (to) add to their organization and for that city," concluded Gretzky.
Phil had an assist in his 13:44 of play and earned the praise of his coach.
|Phil Kessel |
"Phil Kessel had some good jump tonight," said Claude Julien after just his second regular season game (and first win) behind the Boston bench. "I thought he made some real great plays late in the game when he had to (come through).
"There are a lot of guys who really stepped it up tonight that you want to mention -- (Chuck) Kobasew was certainly one of them. Metropolit stepped up when he had to step in there for Savvy…our D was solid again tonight.
"There were a lot of good things," he said.
After the game, Gretzky continued his praise for the Black & Gold.
"We spent the night trying to come back," Gretzky said to Jim Gintonio
of The Arizona Republic
. "There were opportunities there. We had momentum, at 2-1, got back into the game and then had a couple of chances.
) made a couple of key saves at 2-1...but we weren't as ready mentally for the first five minutes of that game, and they were, and that was the big difference.
"I think they came off a tough loss (4-1 at Dallas on Friday), and they were ready to go," he said.
But, and there is always a but, Boston has to make all of things that Gretzky pointed out consistent throughout the lineup and consistent throughout each game.
"We still have work to do," said Julien. "We know that."
Boston returns to work today, following a day off, and will practice in anticipation of their game with Anaheim on Wednesday.