While Bruins continue to shake off rust, Jaroslav Halak provides steadying presence in net

(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

At the end of the day, the Bruins packed their bags and left Gila River Arena on Saturday with two points. 

Case closed — and now it's on to the next one. 

It’s the mentality that the Bruins need to take in order to steady themselves over the long haul of an 82-game regular season.

But when asked about his takeaways from a 1-0 victory against the Coyotes, Brad Marchand was frank. 

“We still didn’t play the way we can. It’s early in the year. We’re a little rusty. We’ve got to be better than what we’ve been — all the way around,” the winger said. “This wasn’t our best game, but we win. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters at this time of year. But we’ve got to continue to improve. We were a little bit better, but we still weren’t very good.”

Even though Marchand managed to light the lamp in the closing minutes of the first period, there were very few discrepancies in Marchand’s recap of the night’s events.

While Boston might have emerged on the right side of the scoreboard, a number of other stats were tilted firmly in favor of the Coyotes — whether it be shots on goal (35-24) or high-danger scoring chances during 5v5 play (12-6).

And yet, despite finishing the night with a 5v5 expected goals mark of 1.96, Arizona exited its home ice with a goose egg. For as much as the stats favored the ‘Yotes, all of them fell to the wayside thanks to a dominant performance in net from Boston’s backup netminder.