Crickets from the haters tonight. Crickets. The Bruins erased 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to comeback and beat Eastern Conference rival, and 2nd place, New York Rangers today. And the last time I did math 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 5. That’s 5 wins in a row for the Boston Bruins. What an intense game. It was a back n’ forth battle that saw the Rangers have an early jump on Boston but the Bruins never gave up. Patrice Bergeron and Brett Connolly scored in the 1st and 2nd periods. Then Ryan Spooner (power play) and David Krejci scored within nearly two minutes of each other in the final 3:46 of the game to seal the victory for the Bruins. Here are BostonPucks.com 3 Thoughts from today’s win:
1) Can Everyone Relax About The Beleskey Hit?
Let me get this out of the way first; Matt Beleskey may not be getting rewarded on the score sheet but the guy has been a horse lately. 5 shots on goal today, a +1, and one huge game changing hit.
Now, in the 2nd period Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath, a borderline 1st round draft bust from 2010, came to the defense of Derek Stepan after Stepan adored his everyday breakout pass only to pay the price for it. Stepan had just made the routine pass and had he just stayed in stride heading up ice that’s a simple rub out, lock horns, type of hit. Instead, he relaxes, ‘ooooo’s and aaaaah’s’ at his effort, and gets buried. Sorry but people need to relax over that hit. It’s already speculated that no further discipline is needed. It did however help propel the Bruins energy in a positive direction. Here’s the hit below, along with Pierre McQuire’s spot on commentary on it, “Eddie, what’s the old saying? Don’t admire your pass?”:
2) Brett Connolly Needed That Tying Goal
After the Bruins defeated Detroit the other night Boston Pucks own Nick “Daddy Daycare” called out Brett Connolly. He put out an APB for his game. Where was it? Where had it gone? Today he had two, yes two BRUUUTAL turnovers in the Bruins defensive zone in the first two periods. One, lead to the Rick Nash dangle goal. The other, nearly did the same. No more more than 4 minutes after his play that caused the Nash goal, the Beleskey/McIlrath incident happened which put the Bruins on the power play. And that’s when Connolly buried. It was his first goal in 12 games, and felt like his first in 50. Hopefully this gets his confidence back up and the monkey off his back because when he’s going he has that scary good shot that can do some damage.
3) Claude’s Post Game Quote Sums Up The Bruins Trajectory (And “It Was Gold Jerry, Gold”)
Late in the game, Henrik Lundqvist nearly stole all of Daniel Day Lewis’ Academy Awards from him with his top notch flop job on an incident with Brad Marchand. After the game Coach Claude Julien was asked about Lundqvist’s flop and he stated, “I know he (Lundqvist) does some acting on the side but I don’t think it has to be on the ice.” That’s about as good of a zinger I’ve heard in pro sports in a long time. He’s sticking up for his players, they’re listening, and he’s not afraid to make this team go out and back it up. Although they haven’t been perfect this team is fighting hard, buying in, and wanting to win. They’re willing themselves and their coach is leading the way.
- No shocker here, but the defensive zone and neutral zone play of the Bruins has drastically tightened up over the last couple weeks. They are keeping teams outside, held a top tier Ranger team to 27 shots, and are not giving away goals like they did in the first 12 games. At one point in the game the Bruins were on a run of 17 straight penalties that they’d killed off. They’re getting harder to play against.
- David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron lead the way once again. Bergeron scored the first goal, logged 20 minutes of ice time, and dominated on faceoffs. David Krejci buried the game winner and logged 21 minutes of ice time. As they go, this team will too. Not just because of the stats but their presence when they’re rolling also brings up their teammates level of play and fight as well.