Well tonight’s first period was more of the same from the Boston Bruins lately with no real emotion as they were content to sleep walk right through it.  After the Buffalo Sabres scored a goal at the start of the 2nd period to go up 2-0 the Bruins steadied the ship and got a nice rebound goal from Ryan Spooner.  Then in the 3rd period Brad Marchand scored a disgusting goal by dragging the puck through his legs and snapping a backhand past Chad Johnson.  The B’s and Sabres traded penalties in overtime and Ryan Spooner scored the only goal in the shootout to secure the much needed 2 points for the Bruins.

Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts from the game:

1) Brad Marchand Continues His Hot Streak With A Highlight Reel Goal

Brad Marchand scored his team leading 23rd goal in the 3rd period to tie the game tonight and it was a smoke show.  If it is not on SportCenter’s Top 10 plays then something is wrong.  At the end of a penalty kill Marchand collected the puck and regrouped in the defensive zone and the quickly carried puck up ice in the middle of a Sabres line change.  He dangled the puck through his legs and snapped off a backhand shot that beat former Bruin tender Chad Johnson.  Try not to drool on yourself watching this:

 Marchand now has 9 points in the last 9 games.  It took him a couple of games after his suspension to get going again, but once he did he has been on fire.  Of the 9 points in the last 9 games 8 of them are goals.  He is tied for 7th in goals scored in the NHL this season.  The season that Marchand is having right now has to make you wonder how much his elbow may have bothered him last year that he had surgery over this past off season.

2) More Of The Same From Ryan Spooner

Ryan Spooner continues to develop into a really good player.  Earlier in the year he was picking up most of his points on the power play.  Although Spooner is second on the Bruins with 14 power play points (Bergeron leads with 20) he has been racking up much needed even strength points as well.  Spooner now has 38 points and is only 1 point behind Loui Eriksson for second on the Bruins.

Patience has been the word with Spooner.  During GM Don Sweeney’s introductory press conference during the off season he preached patience with the young players and used Spooner as an example and it is certainly paying off now.  Behind Bergeron, and Marchand, Spooner has been one of the Bruin’s best players this season.  The kid just keeps improving which is really fun to watch.  I was critical of Spooner earlier in the year, but I guess I was not being patient enough.  Oh, and surprise surprise, Spooner scored the only goal in the shootout.

3) Power Play Needs To Start Picking It Up

I know this might be nitpicking a little bit, but the Bruins have not scored a power play goal in the past 3 games.  They’re also just 2-for-26 on the man advantage in their last 8 games.  Patrice Bergeron had the best power play scoring chance in the overtime session but was robbed on the doorstep by Johnson.

Typically this should not be that alarming but it is more about the way the power play has looked recently. Tonight the power play just did not pass the eye test.  They are not moving the puck as well and the only good chances they are getting are coming from low percentage shots from the perimeter.  They did not get any second chances and nothing other than the Patrice Bergeron opportunity really showed any life.  At this point in the grinding period of the season it would be very helpful for the Bruins to get the power play going again.

****Extras****

  • The Bruins need to get out of this sleep walking funk that they have been in and out of over the past few weeks.  I would really like to see the Bruins be more aggressive and show a little bit more desperation down the stretch here.  Picking and choosing when to play up to your ability doesn’t cut it.
  • It is a good thing the Adam McQuaid is getting close to returning because the defense would really use his presence and his physicality.
  • Despite the strength of the Bruins centers the Sabres actually won 53% of the face offs.
  • Cody Franson was a minus-1 in just 16:49 of ice time tonight for the Sabres.  That was the second lowest ice time for a Buffalo defenseman, just ahead of 22-year-old Jake McCabe.  It’s really good that Don Sweeney didn’t cave to public perception and sign the overrated Franson this past summer when fans were clamoring for him.