Last week was not the sweetest of treats for the Boston Bruins. They had put themselves in a nice spot heading into Thanksgiving week with an 11-7 record following a resounding thumping of the Winnipeg Jets. Then in the span of four days they reeled off three straight losses, an injury to Zdeno Chara, and the offense dried up like a scalp in need of Head and Shoulders. St. Louis, Ottawa (ugh), and Calgary (ugh) preyed upon the lack of scoring and all took home wins, two of which were at the Garden. They might as well have stolen the B’s bike while they were at it.
Thankfully the NHL’s worst team in the Tampa Bay Lightning came into the Garden and helped Boston somewhat right the ship with a little Sunday afternoon delight. I obviously kid when I say the Bolts are the worst team in the NHL. But it only makes sense that the Bruins would look lifeless against Ottawa and Calgary, yet show up against a top flight Tampa Bay team. It’s just what they do. With the nice 4-1 matinee win against the Lightning the B’s now sit at 12-10-0 on the year, 4th in the Atlantic Division, and are a single point outside the final Wild Card spot in the playoff race with the season now officially a quarter complete.
Tonight the Bruins are in the city that gave us Boyz II Men, Motownphilly, to take on the Flyers. I can only hope the Flyers wear their 50th anniversary jersey’s tonight. They look like old Philly jersey’s that the NHL hired Xzibit to apply his “Pimp My Ride” touch to. The only things Claude Giroux is missing in this pic is a gold grill piece with a Flavor Flav watch-necklace to match:
That being said, here are some housekeeping items from BostonPucks.com heading into tonight’s game:
- Dominic Moore-Gretzky continues to be cash money for the B’s. It’s scary to think where the hell this team would be without him. As we all predicted in August, 22 games into the season Moore has as many goals as David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, and Torey Krug combined, by scoring gems like this:He’s also making his money shorthanded as well, helping lead the 4th rated penalty kill in the NHL. What else can we say about the Harvard guy? The world is his oyster right now.
- As much as I love everything that David Backes does for the culture of this Bruins club (just like Dominic Moore does) the guy has to start putting up more points. Before his goal on Sunday against the Lightning our boy Backes had scored just two goals in 15 games. That’s just not good enough at $6 million per. Maybe Sunday’s goal sparked something in the guy, and let’s sure hope so. I like intangibles, but goal scoring is more fun.
- No Zdeno Chara or John-Michael Liles in the lineup tonight so that should be fun. On top of that, the B’s play Buffalo this weekend just in time for Jack Eichel to return. The sophomore phenom makes his season debut in Ottawa tonight after suffering a high ankle sprain back in September. To sum it up, the Bruins need to hang on for dear life in the D-zone and find a way without the senior members of their blueline. They looked pretty sharp Sunday against a fast Tampa team and that was even after Liles bowling balled himself into the end boards head first, so it’s not exactly all doom and gloom (yet). The B’s actually sit 6th overall in goals against in the league. But that still doesn’t make for an ideal situation tonight.
- Jimmy Hayes scored a goal. Like, an actual, real life goal. And he did the old “throw the monkey off his back” cele afterwards. It was nice to see the big goof making fun of himself. But, that’s all I’m going to say about the goal because Tuukka Rask still has more points than him this season. I made this video when it happened just in case people think I’m lying when I tell them Hayes has scored:
- Kevan Miller looked solid in his appearance on Sunday at the Garden. He, like Hayes, is another whipping boy on Twitter and various social media outlets for his perplexing “breakout passes” and such at times. But he was good Sunday. And when he got in Cedric Paquette’s face about the greasy forward’s hit on Torey Krug, I was praying he would unleash bare knuckled hell on his face. I don’t know why but Paquette gives me the Mike Ribeiro’s when I see his face. He may be a good dude, but that face needs a punch here or there. And I haven’t seen many guys in the league throw hammers like Adam McQuaid can, but Kevan Miller is one of them. Fingers crossed for Simmonds vs. Miller bout in Philly tonight.
- Some one besides Tuukka Rask needs to get a win in net for the Bruins. Even if we gotta get old Blaine Lacher on the phone some one needs to come in and do it up Jonas Gustavsson style. Anyone, please. In Anton Khudobin’s defense he was actually pretty sharp against Calgary, posting a nice .931 save percentage and doing his part despite no run support. You gotta think getting that first win will help the mindset going forward so let’s get that taken care of soon.
- Lastly, this team was supposed to be like last year in the sense that “the offense will be there but can they bail out the defense?”. Well, the offense hasn’t been there recently and the D has actually looked pretty solid for the most part. If there ever was a time for this offense to wake up and do it’s job to lighten the load on Tuukka and company then tonight would be a good time to do it. Bergeron gets more than enough ice time yet only has 3 goals. Krejci as well, sitting on just 2 goals. Backes, Beleskey, Marchand, where else should we take this list? You get the point. Throw the D a bone and pony up 4 or 5 goals tonight for the love of Claude.