They do not ask how, they ask how many, and the Bruins were able to get one more than Columbus and squeak out a much needed 2-1 overtime win over the Blue Jackets. Brad Marchand’s goal scoring streak sadly came to an end, but the Bruins got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson, who scored the game winner 33 seconds into overtime. Ho hum, it’s another road victory for the Bruins. Hopefully they can keep it going for the rest of the road trip as the competition ramps up against Nashville on Thursday and Dallas on Saturday.
Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts from the game:
1) 2 U’s, 2 K’s, 2 Points
Tuukka Rask was the first star of tonight’s game. There’s no doubt about that. He looked sharp and was focused on having a bounce back game after getting the hook against Detroit on Sunday.
Rask had 28 saves tonight and he bailed out the Bruins a couple of times with huge saves on breakaway chances, including two that were shorthanded opportunities for Columbus. The past couple of times Tuukka was pulled was not on him in my opinion. Could he have been better? Sure. But a lot of the time the defense left him out to dry. Tuukka had a long stretch of playing great after the first couple bumpy games to start the season. And recently it seemed he had run into a little a bit of tough stretch again but all that seemed to disappear tonight.
If the Bruins want to do anything in the playoffs they will need the Tuukka Rask from Tuesday night to show up. When he is on he looks in control and is never out of position. He almost makes it look easy, and he was that way tonight.
2) Kemppainen had his best game as a Bruin tonight
At the beginning of the game I was a little skeptical on Kemppainen being in the lineup instead of Max Talbot, but I was quickly proven wrong. Kemppainen had his best game as a Bruin tonight.
He was creating offensive opportunities for his linemates, and at times the 4th line was controlling the play and getting a lot of zone time. If needed, Kemppainen is solid on faceoffs and gives the Bruins a left handed option there when he is in the lineup. He does not bring the reckless abandon that Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo brings, but he may be more offensively talented than those guys even though he really has not shown it much. It looks like scoring a goal against the Red Wings on Sunday maybe gave Kemppainen some confidence as he seemed more engaged tonight than what we’ve been seeing.
But let’s not completely overreact here though. Kemppainen is a 4th line guy, that is where he belongs. And that is a big part of why he had a good game tonight playing the minutes and in situations that best suit him.
3) Loui Getting Hot
As a card carrying member of the New England chapter of the Loui Eriksson Fan Club, every time Loui scores nowadays I both smile and tear up. They guy is getting hot at the right time for a multitude of reasons as he now has 5 goals (6 points) in his last 6 games, which includes the game winning goals in the last two Bruins wins. Tonight’s was a beauty:
I really don’t want to see Loui get moved at, or by, the February 29th trade deadline. He’s just such a valuable player to the Bruins in every situation and will be next to impossible to replace. Even though all night long his line could not get out of their own end for the life of them, when it came down to crunch time he got it done. He has the best hands on this roster in and around the net, period. But the Bruins desperately need top-4 defensive help and Loui is the most logical asset that can get the Bruins the return they need for their blue line.
Maybe, just maybe, there is a deal involving one of the Bruins upcoming 1st round picks, and Khokhlachev or other pieces that can get them the d-man they want and still keep Loui. A guy can only dream.
- The Bruins power play went 0-4 tonight and are now 1-32 in their last 9 games. The lone goal came from Brad Marchand and the second unit, so who knows how long it has been for the first power play unit to score. It might be time to change things up a little. I would like to see them work the puck down low and look for the play crashing the back door. Something similar to the play Carl Soderberg and Loui mastered during their time together in Boston.
- Tonight’s win moved Boston into sole position of 2nd place in the Atlantic Division and they are now just 4 points behind Florida for the division lead.
- So yeah, that Patrice Bergeron guy helps the Bruins a little bit, huh? #37 scored in the 1st period in his first game back from a minor injury and he also won 71% of his faceoffs tonight. It’s also no surprise he led the all B’s forwards with 19:44 of ice time. Just another day at the office.
- Alexander Wennberg is going to be good for a long time. The 21-year-old second year Blue Jacket has all the tools you’d expect to see from a 2013 first round (14th overall) draft pick. With Ryan Johansen no longer Columbus’ #1 center, Wennberg is learning his way into a top-2 center role quickly. Tonight we saw flashes of what’s to come when he undressed Adam McQuaid and got in on Tuukka Rask:
Next up for the Bruins is the Nashville Predators on Thursday night as the current road trip nears it’s end.