Tonight looked all too familiar. Just last week against Montreal the Boston Bruins essentially got dominated for a majority of the game while Tuukka Rask made key save after save to buy his team time. The Bruins also went shot-less against the Habs for nearly 17 minutes in the 2nd period before finding life late in the game and stealing a win at the Bell Centre. Tonight, the roles were reversed.
Cam Talbot made a career-high 47 saves to keep his Edmonton Oilers hanging around long enough to steal 2 points on the road in Boston. It took over 15 minutes into the 2nd before Edmonton even got a shot on net in the period.
Jordan Eberle (3 points) was once again a Bruins killer with a beautiful goal with almost no angle near the goal line to get it started. A defensive blunder beyond comprehension gave Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a tap in shortly thereafter to make it 2-0 Edmonton. The rest of the way it was the Cam Talbot show. Only one Beleskey leaker, and an incredible Brad Marchand snipe to tie it up, got by him. Overpaid defenseman Andrej Sekera swatted in the winner just 41 seconds into overtime, with both Eberle and The Nuge chipping in assists.
Here are BostonPucks.com 3 thoughts from the game:
1) Edmonton Started OT With Their Best; Claude Sat His Best
Although it shouldn’t have even gone to overtime, I don’t get this move at all. Edmonton starts OT with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who had provided the scoring for the Oilers and were skating well all night. Claude Julien decides to go with the Spooner/Ferraro forward combo match-up to counter and got burned bad.
Look, I like Ferraro’s game. He’s been playing very well, and even did so tonight. But overtime is built for your top guns. It just is. It’s a best-on-best format. Brad Marchand is so hot right now I wouldn’t have been shocked if he scored from his own end in overtime. Yet he wasn’t out there to at least start it. Claude Julien going with his 3rd best center option in Ryan Spooner is a head-scratcher as well. I don’t get it and I never will. Beleskey, Krejci, Bergeron, and Marchand are your options to open overtime to set the tone; that’s it. If a better match-up for Spooner or Ferraro appears as overtime progresses by all means give them a go. Otherwise, you win with your best and lose with your best in the 3-on-3 format.
2) Although Not Sharp, Gustavsson Was Hung Out To Dry
Jonas Gustavsson has had better performances this year, but I wouldn’t put all of this loss on him. The first goal was just a fantastic shot by Eberle. He almost had no angle from the goal line and still was able to roof it after the defense lost track of him. The second goal by Nugent-Hopkins was after a disastrous blown tire by Zdeno Chara that threw himself into the boards. The turnover ended up in front of the Bruins net where Gus was in great position to make the save. Unfortunately, the initial shot was barely blocked, more like redirected, by Adam McQuaid’s stick. That “block” got just enough of the shot to put Gustavsson out of position when the puck landed perfectly on the Nuge’s stick for an open net. And we already know about overtime. The poor line choice by Julien put Gustavsson in a tough spot with recent AHL-ers up against some of the worlds best on wide open ice. Did Gustavsson have to be better? Absolutely. Was it entirely his fault? Not even close.
3) Brad Marchand Is On Fire
What else can you say about Marchand? He’s turning into a top tier NHL goal scorer, and team leader, right before our eyes. He’ll have his moments that make you shake your head but you must live with them. There aren’t many guys out there with his hands, skill, scoring touch, and toughness all rolled into one. Tonight he potted his 15th goal of the season in just 26 games played. And it was an absolute beauty (watch below). There doesn’t appear to be much sign of him slowing down any time soon.
- Despite the poor choice of starting overtime with Landon Ferraro the kid had a great game 5-on-5 in regulation. He was rightfully rewarded by being moved up to the Bergeron/Marchand line during the game and soon after picked up the primary assist on Marchand’s goal. He also had 3 shots on net and logged more ice time than Hayes, Connolly, and Vatrano. You couldn’t ask for more from Ferraro right now.
- David Pastrnak practiced this morning and is getting closer to a return. A pure goal scorer like Pastrnak could have, and probably would have, been the difference maker tonight with all the chances the Bruins were generating. It’ll be interesting to see what the line combos are when he returns but there is no question that his elite level shot is in demand on this roster right now.
The Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. 8pm puck drop.