Boston Bruins Week in Review: Week 8
A look back at Week Eight
The eighth week of action for the Boston Bruins was a very busy one, to say the least. A road trip with back-to-back stops involved going to see the scrappy Ottawa Senators and the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins with two different results: a shootout win in Ottawa, a blown-lead loss in Pittsburgh. The win in Ottawa came at a heavy price, however. Chris Kelly was injured and will be out indefinitely as he nurses a broken tibia.
Back at home against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins built up a lead and were then able to increase it for a victory. When the Washington Capitals came to town for a matinee two days later, the home team used that as a chance to avenge their blown-lead loss from the previous week and keep their matinee record perfect. It was possibly their finest game of the season so far in terms of consistency.
But then they hauled it down to the Steel City again for a matinee on St. Patrick's Day, seen nationwide on NBC, and proceeded to lose 2-1. This is just further proof that it's kind of a sin to have the Bruins play anywhere but TD Garden on March 17.
This past week, the NHL also approved its realignment scheme for next season, which means the Bruins are getting new division mates like the Detroit Red Wings, but keeping the old, like the Montreal Canadiens. The division has yet to be named, though I feel that there's a strong case for christening it after Bobby Orr if the league decides to pay tribute to its storied history again.
Here's a look back at a hectic week for the Bruins.
March 11: Shootout with the Sens
It looked like a potentially bad scenario for Boston as they went down 2-0 to the Senators in the first period and gave first goals in a while to both Guillaume Latendresse and Kyle Turris. But the hardworking Merlot Line redeemed their team: Shawn Thornton scored and Daniel Paille tallied a goal on a breakaway, which is nothing short of a miracle.
However, it took a shootout to settle this one. Turris and Patrice Bergeron both scored in the same round, but that was all and the tiebreaker went to extra rounds. Kaspars Daugavins tried an unorthodox move in an attempt to elude Tuukka Rask and win the game, but Rask denied him by what looked like basically his toenails. Thank goodness he's a tall goalie.
David Krejci then came in and won the game, which was his 400th and Zdeno Chara's 500th as a Bruin.
March 12: The Penguins, Part 1
Resting on your laurels isn't always a good thing, as the Bruins learned when they held a two-goal lead over the Penguins but didn't do much about the idea of extending it. Zdeno Chara's power play goal and Tyler Seguin's goal made it two to nothing in the first period, but then the team got too comfortable. Though Anton Khudobin did the best he could, there's only so much one person can do, especially when another of the league's best teams is firing shot after shot after shot.
A late third-period comeback by the home team made it the sixth time so far in this shortened season that Boston has blown a lead, losing 3-2.
March 14: Putting Away the Panthers
Captain Zdeno struck again, opening the scoring and giving his team an early lead, and Patrice Bergeron increased that lead to two before the first period against the Panthers was in the books. However, the game after that got a little less than great—Bergeron himself said as much—though Merlot did it big again to keep the Bruins going strong after letting the Panthers into the game. Shawn Thornton cashed in on some excellent work around the net and Bergeron's empty-netter sealed the 4-1 deal.
March 16: Crafty Against the Capitals
This matinee against the Capitals was just what the doctor ordered for the Bruins, especially for some guys in the lineup who hadn't been performing up to their highest potential lately. A two-goal lead in the first period was provided by members of the first line, Nathan Horton and David Krejci. Andrew Ference scored too and Rich Peverley added a power play goal. One unfortunate own-goal kept Anton Khudobin from earning a shutout, but that was the only blemish.
This game was also big for fans of fisticuffs: Brad Marchand took on Mike Ribeiro while Matt Hendricks found two dance partners in Horton and Adam McQuaid. Horton got a Gordie Howe hat trick and was the first recipient of Ference's new player MVP award: a red shirt with a giant rooster face on it.
March 17: The Penguins, Part 2
Though the Bruins took just one penalty in this nationwide matinee against the Penguins, and out-shot the Penguins this time, the first line cooled down and David Krejci got hurt en route to a 2-1 loss. Tyler Seguin was the only goal-scorer for the visitors. By the end of the first period, Pittsburgh had all of the lead they would need for the win. The luck of the Irish just wasn't with the Bruins on this occasion, simple as that.