As much as the game against the Oilers on Wednesday was a snooze fest tonight’s game was the opposite.  It had more emotional swings than a teenage girl.  The Bruins were down 2-0 in the first, but they got a goal from Matt Beleskey toward the end of the period.  Then an insane first few minutes of the 2nd period saw the Bruins tie up the game with a Marchand snipe.  The Flames then scored 20 seconds later to go ahead 3-2.  But wait, Chara tied the game 26 seconds after that.  3 goals were scored in the first 2:22 of the 2nd period.

Marchand scored on a 3rd period penalty shot for the Bruins to go up by a goal with just 1:06 left in the game.  But of course our hearts hadn’t fully failed yet so Jiri Hudler went and scored for Calgary to tie it 4-4 with 1.2 seconds left in the game.  And Johnny Gaudreau collected his hat trick goal in overtime to win it for the Flames. Here are BostonPucks.com 3 thoughts on the game:

1. Brad Marchand is turning into a leader and put the team on his back tonight

Brad Marchand was all over the ice tonight.  He was by far the Bruins best player in this game.  He scored on a snipe to open up the second period.  He also undressed a Flames defenseman to setup Brett Connolly, who was robbed by Flames goalie Kari Ramo.  With Chara off for a lame delay of game penalty for shooting the put over the glass, and Marchand out killing the penalty, he chipped the puck past Dougie Hamilton for a breakaway.  Hamilton slashed Marchand and knocked his stick out of his hands earning Marchand a penalty shot.  He then scored on the penalty shot opportunity.

Marchand has backed up his talk so far this year.  He has called out other players by saying there are too many passengers both during the season and referencing last season.  Marchand now has 12 goals, which leads the team, and 6 assists for 18 points in 22 games played.  He is such an important part of this Bruins team.  He has had his moments this year with dumb penalties, but more often than not he shows up and plays his ass off.

2. Chara was one of the culprits turning over the puck tonight

Zdeno Chara scored a goal and had an assist tonight, but I thought he was brutal other wise.  His turnover at the beginning of the game resulted in the Flames first goal.  He also mismanaged the puck a few other times.  If you follow us on Twitter you would have seen that I tweeted out that he had a bad period during the first intermission.  Well, it did not get much better.  Chara’s terrible behind the back pass to Krejci in overtime was picked off and resulted in the game winner.

I am not really sure why he is out on the ice during 3-on-3.  The overtime format is built for speed and wide open skating, not bigger, slower, physical defenseman.  Also, handling the puck is not a strong part of his game.  After his first shift in overtime, I tweeted that he should not be on the ice.  No more than seconds later did his second shift of overtime cost the Bruins a point.

3. Johnny Gaudreau is nasty

I am really not sure how Johnny Gaudreau does it.  Maybe it’s his Vermont roots?  His father, Guy, grew up in Vermont and was a hockey star at Norwich University.  He is obviously a very talented hockey player, but holy hell is he small.  When he was playing at Boston College I saw him play the University of Vermont (UVM) here in Vermont.  My seats were actually right behind the away bench and I could not believe how small he was.  He looked like a 12 year old playing with men.  In that same game Gaudreau, who was a sophomore at the time, completely dangled and undressed a UVM defenseman in the neutral zone and scored on a breakaway.  I do not know how many points he had that weekend in Vermont, but it was a lot with half of the Northeast part of Vermont in attendance cheering him on.  Due to his size I did not think he would make it in the NHL, but he has proved me wrong and he is an absolute stud.  Good for Johnny to prove people like me wrong.  He dominated the game tonight.

 

****Extras****

  • Get a hose, call a cleaning company, rip up the carpets.  Whatever you have to do, clean up the D-zone breakout.  The defense could not handle the puck tonight in their own end.  I know Calgary brings a lot of speed to their forecheck but there were plenty of opportunities to just make a simple up-n-out play and the Bruins D just couldn’t get it off their own stick or out of their own way.
  • Jonas Gustavsson was not ready to go tonight in net.  You’ll get that every now and then from a backup goalie but it was pretty clear from the opening face-off he was fighting the puck.  He struggled handling a few soft perimeter shots, particularly when he looked handcuffed by a soft point shot with no screen on the power play right before the 3rd goal that got him yanked.  What’s worse is Tuukka didn’t get the extra rest having to come in for relief.  It’s a short turn around for Rask to be ready to go tomorrow night.
  • Matt Beleskey got that big fat smelly monkey off his back with a great tip in goal on a low Chara shot from the half wall.  It’s not in my nature to say we called it but in our pregame blog we said he’d finally get one.  We’ve said for two weeks now that it was just a matter of time.  He’s been doing everything right but wasn’t getting any puck luck. Tonight he was rewarded and deservedly so.