What. A. Win. Whatta win! The Bruins marched into Montreal tonight and for most of the game showed quite a few ugly similarities to the flat performance against Nashville on Monday. Not terrible stuff, just not enough. But with one mid-air batted puck by Zdeno Chara on the penalty kill that landed on Loui Eriksson’s stick, the entire night changed. Loui broke in on a breakaway, put ‘er home to tie it up, and then the Bruins really got moving. Waiver pick up of the decade Landon Ferraro scored seconds later to make it 2-1 and Patrice Bergeron, the most complete player in the NHL, scored an absolute beauty as he deked Condon while narrowly missing Condon’s jock strap as he came out of it, to put the nail in the coffin. 3-1 good guys. Here’s BostonPucks.com 3 thoughts of the game:
1) Tuukka Rask Got That “Struggles Against Montreal” Thing Off His Back
Tuukka Rask was the reason the Boston Bruins won this game tonight. No question about it. He was absolutely on fire. And to be fair to Tuukka, in the 2014 playoffs he did beat Montreal in three games before losing in Game 7. He even pitched a 1-0 overtime shutout victory in Montreal that series. So it’s not like he hasn’t done it before up there. But it’s been a long enough time since then and tonight, what a performance. Really outstanding stuff. 32 saves, .970 save percentage, and the only goal he gave up went off his own defender and in. He’ll be his cool, calm self in the post game interviews but I can guarantee inside he’s fist pumping like a champ.
2) Is There A More Complete Hockey Player In The World Than Patrice Bergeron?
The guy does it all. We say it over and over and over. We see it every night. And just when you see a play that makes you think it can’t be topped he does something else. 1 beautiful goal, 20 minutes of ice-time, and just winning every puck battle out there. Before his goal that iced it he was robbed by Condon high glove in the slot. He also had a great 2nd period pick-pocket in the neutral zone and followed it up with a backhand saucer pass from his knees to a streaking Brad Marchand on the off wing. He’s the Tom Brady of this team and we should all feel fortunate we get to watch him every night.
3) Eyeball Test Says The Canadiens Are Still A Better Team
The Bruins may have won the game but the eyeball test says the Canadiens are a better team. If you have to, just look at how they possess the puck when they are in the offensive zone. They’re always a threat. They move the puck with purpose and it looks graceful. When the Bruins have the puck in the offensive zone the puck is always along the boards and the Bruins are grinding and chasing the puck. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy the rough stuff, but it would be nice if the Bruins could possess the puck half as good as the Canadiens. Tonight the Bruins took a page out of the Canadiens’ book. They hung around and got a bounce to go their way with the Loui Eriksson shorthanded goal. The Bruins only played a good 20 minutes tonight, but it was enough.
- Despite my gushing over Tuukka and Bergeron, this team desperately needs to clean up their breakout. So many bad, nearly unforced errors from the back end. Chara is continuing his poor decision making on breakouts. Kevan Miller made a real brutal first period soft serve breakout pass right to Montreal. I’d rather they ice it hard all the way down than continue this. It has to stop.
- Landon Ferraro has been a great pickup for the Bruins. He has brought speed and energy to the 4th line. He has also been chipping in offensively lately and he can play up on the 3rd line like he did tonight in the 3rd period. In the 8 games since the Bruins claimed him he has 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists).
- Where is Colin Miller? What’s the story here? Bueller? Bueller? I’m really surprised the kid isn’t playing. And no one really knows why. Zach Trotman has played well recently, and got hosed tonight on a hooking (but never hooked him) call. The only man Colin Miller could have gone in for tonight was Kevan Miller. Can’t wait to find out what the story is.
- Jimmy Hayes does not look confident out there. He’s big, looks the part, gets in front of the net, does a lot of the cosmetic stuff. But recently he just hasn’t had the jam. Tonight didn’t look much better. But he makes for a great photo so it’s leading this blog.
All in all, a huge team win tonight. The Bruins now head home to rest up for Saturday’s 1pm afternoon delight against Shawn Thornton and the Florida Panthers.