Boston Bruins fans, exhale. It’s okay to do that now after that heart-stopping finish to their first game this season against the Winnipeg Jets, which involved one goal that needed to be called up to Toronto for verification and another that was never a goal because it came after the final horn sounded. In the end, the Bruins won 3-2, thereby putting up their first-ever victory inside the MTS Centre.
After a thoroughly unexciting first period, Alexander Burmistrov nabbed the lead for the Jets not long after the start of the second. Dougie Hamilton was out there for that one and it looked like Burmistrov was interfering with him slightly, although Hamilton could’ve tried employing his physicality to try to foil Burmistrov as a last resort. In fact, a lack of physicality was something that was noticeable throughout the whole game. The Jets actually out-hit the Bruins 25 to 21 and the Big Bad Bruins who use their bodies to impose their will aren’t still in full force in my eyes.
But while the boom-boom Bruins might not have made it through customs, the Bruins with a goal-scoring touch certainly did. The good news is that Tyler Seguin definitely woke up on time and ate his breakfast because he scored the first Boston goal of the night with a big help from his captain, the oft-booed Zdeno Chara. This goal went to a somewhat lengthy review, but Toronto confirmed the call of a good goal.
Later in the period, the Jets got back the lead with a goal from Evander Kane, although that 2-1 score didn’t last long at all. Before the public address announcer was done reciting that goal’s details, Daniel Paille made himself clutch by scoring at 19 minutes and 58 seconds to make it a 2-2 tie before the final period.
There was cause to worry about which Bruins would come out of the tunnel considering how they collapsed in the third period of their last game, but in the end, they changed their tune. Team-leading goal scorer Brad Marchand (pictured) darted out on a breakaway right as the period started and then was foiled on his attempt to score. It really should’ve been a penalty shot, but was a tripping call instead. Marchand didn’t mind, though, because he just scored on the power play not long after that. Yes, another power play goal from the Bruins. It’s practically a miracle!
After that, the Bruins managed to hold on to their 3-2 lead with some timely help from Tuukka Rask and his 21 saves. Right at the very end of the game, right when the final buzzer sounded, the puck appeared to slide in behind him–but that was also looked over just to confirm that it was not a goal.
The lack of physicality from the Bruins is still a cause for concern and will be until they start playing the body more. But the fact that they are shooting and scoring is good news anyway.
Now that the Bruins are back atop the Northeast Division–because it was strange to see the Montreal Canadiens there, despite the fact that they had two games in hand–they’re going to go from chilly Manitoba to sunny Florida and their next game will be on Feb. 21 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the meantime, many Bruins and coach Claude Julien will pay a visit to Newtown, Conn. tomorrow for a day of fun and remembrance in the city still healing from the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.
Maybe by the time the Bruins face the Lightning, Milan Lucic will be back in the lineup. He returned to Boston to care for personal matters and did not play this evening. Here’s hoping all is well with his family.