And on the seventh shift, Trent Frederic brought TD Garden to its feet.
The 2016 first-round draft pick was already in the middle of a dream debut to his NHL career. The St. Louis-born center met David Backes as a child and, not only ended up on Backes’ team in Boston, but had him as his right wing on the third line Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets. His Bruins, coming off a nine-day break, were playing well, trading goals with a legitimate title contender in an eventual 4-3 shootout loss.
“If you look at the big picture, way more positives than negatives,” coach Bruce Cassidy said on NESN afterward.
The new guy had a small part in that.
With 4:13 to play in the second period, Bruins bruiser Kevan Miller mixed it up with Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry. Frederic’s line came on the ice, and he quickly laid a hit on Brandon Tanev, the Jets’ heaviest hitter. Play moved into the Winnipeg end, but stopped on a hand pass. Next to Lowry in the slot, Frederic gave him a shove. Backes got involved nearby. A scrum formed. And Tanev saw a chance to get a little payback.
Frederic didn’t miss the opportunity, nor did he miss Tanev’s person with a flurry of punches.
Trent Frederic delivers some pure punishment in his first NHL game pic.twitter.com/A2kRdNjJmQ
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 30, 2019
“He did a heck of a job standing up for himself and answering the bell when they were starting to run around a little bit,” said Backes to NESN during the second intermission, crediting Miller at well. “Gotta love the fire in the kid in his first NHL game.”
Frederic’s parents Gabrielle and Bob certainly did, even if their celebration game was a bit off.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 30, 2019