Who says you need more scoring to have an exciting game in the NHL nowadays?  Well, most of us.  But tonight was the exception.  St. Louis and Boston had a high paced, back and forth battle all night that came down to latter half of the third period.  Vladimir Tarasenko scored a beautiful snipe low stick side on Tuukka Rask to make it 1-0 and that’s all it took.  Robby Fabbri piled on with an even better snipe, high glove, to seal the game at 2-0.

Here are BostonPucks.com 3 Thoughts from the game:

1) We Got To See Two Great Goalies Duke It Out

Jake Allen and Tuukka Rask put on a good show tonight. Allen is legit and in my opinion should have been given the keys to the St. Louis organization awhile ago but for some reason Ken Hitchcock always liked to shuffle his tenders.  Tonight Allen put up 32 saves for the shutout and had a real nice point-blank, game changing, stop on Brad Marchand in the 2nd period.  Unfortunately for the Bruins, 14 (nearly half of the game total) shots came in the first period and it got easier for Allen as the game wore on.

Tuukka Rask was sharp on his end as well.  He finished with 27 saves and certainly had his hands full with blazing hot Vladimir Tarasenko streaking up the middle for his goal.  A bad line change by Boston hung Tuukka out to dry on the Fabbri goal.  Regardless, we got some good goaltending entertainment out of tonight’s battle.

2) Vladimir Tarasenko Is On Fire

Tarasenko extended his point streak tonight and I can’t say I’m surprised.  He now has an 11-game point streak comprised of 7 goals and 6 assists.  What’s more is his goal tonight gave him #22 on the season, which ties him with Jamie Benn for the NHL lead.  He’s just an absolute stud.  It’s amazing that St. Louis has him locked up for the next 8 years for $60 million.  That contract comes in at just a $7.5 million cap hit per year on such an elite sniper.  That’s what we call a bargain in the world of NHL contracts, and in 2-3 years it’ll be highway robbery.  I actually wrote about that contract when it was signed and how it was a great deal for St. Louis.

3) This Was A Good Measuring Stick For Boston

This wasn’t the worst loss the Bruins could have had going into the 3-day freeze/break that the NHL takes during Christmas.  We’ve certainly seen them give away points to poor teams this season.  But tonight they played a top tier Western Conference team fairly tight for most of the game and engaged in a good battle. After having played a poor Pittsburgh squad and hitting a few backup goalies along the way this was a nice test.  It was nice to see the Bruins show up and compete.  But it still wasn’t enough.

I thought an early goal would have been a huge difference maker simply due to the fact that the Blues just have more raw talent on that team.  Over time with enough chances it just felt like St. Louis would come through.  The Bruins seemed to lose a little push as the game went on.  And for all the good they did all game the shots seemed to come from the perimeter and the play started to favor the Blues.  There just wasn’t enough jam to get to the net and rattle Jake Allen.  But all in all it was a great game and the Bruins should know they can compete with the top teams.

****Extras****

  • Brett Connolly got another crack on the Bergeron/Marchand line and eventually got bumped back down again in favor of Brendan Ferraro.  As we know it’s not clicking for him offensively right now and the inevitable return of David Pastrnak to the lineup fairly soon is going to cause more changes in the lines.
  • There were a lot of big hits in this game.  Ryan Reaves was taking runs all over the place and Zach Rinaldo unloaded a big one on Scotty Upshall.  Guys certainly had to keep their heads up out there tonight.
  • Tyler Randell has a big pair to be taking on Ryan Reaves in a fight but it was great to see.  Reaves got the best of Randell but a lot of the blows hit Randell’s helmet and the fight didn’t last long.  I love the battle in Tyler Randell and to step up and take on Reaves showed us all quite a bit.

We hope all our readers have a safe and wonderful Christmas.  We’ll still be posting some blogs for you daily so check back and enjoy.  We always love reading your comments and hearing from you.

Next game; Saturday at home vs. Buffalo.  Jack Eichel returns to Boston for the first time as an NHLer.  7pm puck drop.