Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres
4-3, Bruins (SO)
Goals: Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo), Thomas Vanek (Buffalo), Tyler Seguin (Boston), TJ Brennan (Buffalo), Brad Marchand (Boston), Zdeno Chara (Boston); in the shootout, Benoit Pouliot (Boston)
Goalies: Tim Thomas (.912% and five shootout saves), Jhonas Enroth (.923% and four shootout saves)
Here’s something to be thankful for: The Bruins are still undefeated in November and this ten (TEN!) game winning streak is a franchise record. The team is also atop the Northeastern Division once again and is third in the conference.
It was time to finally put the aftermath of the Ryan Miller-Milan Lucic incident to bed. (Hey! See that link there? I wrote that for Yahoo Contributor Network. It would pump my tires in the best way possible if you read it. I get paid by the number of hits.) So, when Lucic took his very first shift on the ice tonight (to the sound of booing in the First Niagara, booing that later dissipated since Buffalo fans aren’t as devoted as Montreal fans are to booing people), Sabres troublemaker Paul Gaustad started engaging him for a fight. Please watch the video footage.
Yeah, definitely a unanimous decision to Lucic on that one. Gaustad barely got any licks in at all. Nice try.
Later, the Sabres discovered that “teammates don’t let stuff like that happen to teammates” (as Jack Edwards emphatically put it) when Gaustad took advantage of a vulnerable Brad Marchand and ran him from behind. The Bruins will have none of that because they watch out for each other. Again, video.
Don’t poke the bear.
Meanwhile, in the non-fight area, our second line continues to be absolutely amazing. (Anyone else notice how they got top billing in the NESN game preview ad? It was like SEGUIN. MARCHAND. AND BERGERON. The best line in the NHL blah blah blah here is a hilarious pun about how “the Jets have been grounded in their new city,” etc.) Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin both scored goals. Seguin surpassed his entire goal output from last season. Patrice Bergeron (who has been getting a little more physically assertive lately, which I like) assisted on both goals. The potentially unpopular opinion: I actually think our second line is doing better lately than our first line and I would be alright with them switching places.
Also, Zdeno Chara did all sorts of good things tonight. He scored. He fought. He helped keep out a goal when Tim Thomas was on the ice and the net was basically open. Oh captain, my captain.
Could Benoit Pouliot please stop taking boneheaded penalties? I feel like his shootout goal was partly motivated by him trying to prove himself after messing up in regulation. Be careful, Pouliot. Again, you earn your ice time, and if you prove to be not so great as part of the organization, you might not be part of it anymore.
In the first period, I was getting flashbacks to that terrible Boston/Carolina game when the refs just kept calling penalties and Buffalo kept scoring on their resultant power plays. But after dropping that first period 2-0, I think maybe the Bruins realized what was happening too and said “No more.” After that, Buffalo got some penalties called too and Seguin’s goal came on our power play.
vs. Detroit Red Wings
Yes! The incorrectly-named Thanksgiving Showdown! Who needs Black Friday shopping? I am going to be all over this. (In a perfect world, the NESN crew would be able to call this game even though it airs on NBC, but alas, this is no perfect world.) Also, to win nine was divine, to win ten was splendid, to win eleven would be heaven.