Boston Bruins Wake Up a Little Late, But Get Good Results
Maybe the Bruins were feeling the unpleasant effects of going forward an hour due to Daylight Saving Time based on their first period: sloppy with lots of turnovers and bad passes, plus that whole going down two to nothing aspect too. Boston continues the pattern of being charitable and allowing players from other teams to enjoy firsts: the first goal for Guillaume Latendresse in more than a year and Kyle Turris‘ first goal in 22 games.
Speaking of 22, that was the number of the Bruin who got his team on the board–Shawn Thornton, whose puck went right past a sprawling Robin Lehner who once again looked like he was trying to prevent a goal from happening but failed spectacularly.
The Merlot Line struck again when Daniel Paille committed something that’s just short of a miracle: he scored on a breakaway. Bruins fans often get their hopes up when they see #20 streaking down the ice, only to be let down and to wonder why they got their hopes up again, wash, rinse, repeat. But this time, it worked. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!
Though the Bruins then outshot the Senators for the third period, got some great opportunities and needed some great work from Tuukka Rask, in the end it would take a shootout to get things done. Patrice Bergeron scored in the same round as Turris, but the shootout necessitated extra rounds, which is when Kaspars Daugavins pulled out either the funniest or silliest shootout move ever. He moved the puck by putting his stick blade on top of it and dragging it side to side down the ice as he moved in on Rask. Then he tried some sort of spinning move and–completely failed. Apparently he managed to score on the exact same move in the AHL, but sometimes things just don’t translate to the big show.
After the Daugavins move, David Krejci came in and won the game. Thornton later said in a post-game interview that Daugavins’ move was, um, courageous.
The already-struggling third line got a big blow in this game, though, when Chris Kelly left the game early after taking a bad hit to the knee from Chris Neil. He wasn’t putting any weight on it as he left the ice and he did not return. There’s some difference of opinion when it comes to how malicious that hit was, and there have been about 900 replays of it, but it does look like Neil kind of moved his knee over into Kelly’s way before the hit. (On the other hand, Thornton and Claude Julien are both of the view that it was accidental, which is their prerogative.) Here’s hoping that he feels better soon–this is a particularly bad time to lose him for any length of time simply because this week and month are both very busy.
This was a milestone game in a few different metrics: Julien now ties Milt Schmidt for second most wins as Bruins coach, Zdeno Chara played his 500th game with Boston and Krejci celebrated his 400th game. This also completes the best road start for Boston in its entire team history.
Yet there was obviously not a full 60 effort, not when the Bruins were down two goals before eight minutes had elapsed in the first period. The team got back into the game a little later and took away the win, but it’s still not a full 60–which will be what they seek when they roll into the Steel City to face the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night.