What a roller coaster ride that game was.  Just nonstop back and forth action in a playoff like atmosphere made for one intense battle.  In the end the Washington Capitals walked away the victors with a 2-1 overtime win over the B’s.  Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal for the Bruins as Torey Krug’s goal, that would have made it 2-0, was wrongly overturned on a coaches challenge.  Matt Niskanen scored the OT winner for Washington.

Here are BostonPucks.com 3 thoughts from the game:

1) Ovechkin Hit on Miller Was Not Good

I am not going to get into the penalty that was called on the ice and if Ovechkin should get any supplementary discipline because we know that is not going to happen.  The refs had a rough night tonight but at least they correctly called the 5 minute major for boarding on Ovi.  The hit was bad and Ovechkin had time to hold up.

This hit should be the only example that Brian Burke needs to show to the GMs to finally get his bear hug rule into the game.  Basically if they allowed players to wrap up the other players when going into the boards there would be no need for a hit like that.   The rule, in theory, would reduce the number of dangerous collisions for a player who had his back turned to the play.

The Bruins needed to take advantage of the Ovi hit and score a couple of goals on that power play.  For all of Kevan Miller’s limitations as a player he is a tough S.O.B. and the defense will take a little bit of a hit without him in the lineup.  I thought Miller had been playing better the last few games.  With the addition of John-Michael Liles all of the defensemen are slotted where they ideally should be and Miller does not have as much responsibility as before, which has allowed him to play a better all around game.

The good thing out of the Ovi hit was Brad Marchand was the first person in the scrum.  Marchand has taken on the challenge from the Bruins of being more of a leader and he is doing that not only with his offense, but with sticking up for his teammates.

2) Noel Acciari Is Just What Bruins Fourth Line Needs

It’s hard to believe Zac Rinaldo was on the Bruins fourth line after watching Noel Acciari play.  For anyone watching in Providence it had to be only a matter of time before he got the call up to Boston after learning the pro game having just come out of Providence College.

Tonight Acciari led the Bruins with 5 hits, had a couple shots on net, and went 60% in the faceoff circle against the NHL’s best team.  He was all over the ice but not in any way out of control or reckless.  Quite a few times Acciari made some real smooth “strip-pokes” (think strip sack in football) where he cleanly knocks the puck loose and recovers it all in one motion to help send the play in the opposite direction.  He almost looks like a mini-Bergeron in the d-zone but running with a much hotter motor.  

BostonPucks own Nick has written before that there’s just something about mature NCAA players coming into the NHL that makes them stand out over Canadian major junior players when slotting into depth, gritty roles.  NCAA hockey is more of a man’s game filled with tight defense.  And a majority of the players are in the 20-23 year old range rather than teenagers.  That experience seems to translate well and shows in players like Acciari.  It helps them be more prepared an accountable in those tough areas.

Everyone wants to see Frank Vatrano and Colin Miller with the big club right now because they have some highlight reel talent.  They’re impressive players.  But Noel Acciari is doing all those other things that don’t get on YouTube that make a huge difference for the Bruins right now.

3) NHL Still Doesn’t Know What Offsides Is

I’m pretty sure when I woke up this morning I was on planet Earth.  After seeing the review process fail again I’m not so sure anymore. 

Torey Krug’s second period snipe was called back because upon review the refs deemed Loui Eriksson went offside on the zone entry.  No camera angle could clearly overturn the call but what the hell, let’s just make it up as we go and overturn it.  The goal was called back with zero conclusive evidence to change the call.  Against the Flyers weeks ago, Wayne Simmonds enters the zone with his skate so high off the ice you’d think he was pissing on a fire hydrant.  But that was deemed onside.  In Detroit, you could see a skate come up off the ice trying to hold the blue line as well.  No biggie, might as well flip a coin.  Tails says it’s onside, so it’s onside.

I’m tired of blogging and tweeting about officiating but the NHL NEEDS to fix this system.  I don’t care what the call is, I just want the right call.  Right now the officials literally can’t get it right and now no one knows what to think anymore.

****Extras****

  • Patrice Begeron scored his 26th goal of the season to open the game on a beautiful feed from Marchand:    Per Bruins writer Mike Loftus, 15 of Bergy’s 26 goals have given the Bruins the lead.  Quite the stat. 
  • Claude Julien will have to wait another game to become the Bruins franchise leader in wins.  How is it in the Bruins long history that the most wins by a coach is only 387?  It does not seem like a lot to me.
  • The power play failed the Bruins tonight.  They were 0-5 including a 3 minute power play due to the Ovechkin boarding.  What’s worse is it turned into a 5-on-3 when Washington took another penalty.  They should have been the difference tonight in a positive way.
  • Adam McQuaid got in a fight tonight and any time that happens it’s a treat for us.  So I’ll just leave this skull rattling clip right here for you: