Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild
Goals: Chad Rau and Matt Cullen (Minnesota)
Goalies: Niklas Backstrom (48/48, 1.000%), Tim Thomas (27/29, .931%)
The Merlot Line tried really hard in this game, especially the first period. Daniel Paille had another very good first period showing, including two (unsuccessful) breakaways. Note that Paille is in a contract year, so perhaps he is trying to do very well to prove himself and stay a Bruin. Shawn Thornton also tried to inject some fire into his teammates by fighting Matt Kassian at the start of the third. You can see the fight here, though be warned that the NBC Sports Network people were not very good at calling it, nor was it as take-no-prisoners as Thorty’s fights usually are.
The Bruins tried and tried and tried to get one past Niklas Backstrom.
However, a lot of the shots the Bruins took on Backstrom were taken right at his chest, which creates pretty much the easiest save for a goalie to make. Independent shots from the perimeter right at the i in Minnesota on his chest? That’s not going to cut it, Bruins. Only with one minute left in the game did the Bruins practice effective net-front presence to try and take advantage of the huge rebounds Backstrom let up, but by then it was way too little too late.
I don’t even want to talk about Milan Lucic getting straight-up robbed, followed by the Xcel Center DJ playing Kernkraft 400. He was so frustrated he smacked his stick on the ice. Later, just as time expired, he reportedly smashed his stick into pieces. At least he seemed to care!
I feel like the team deflated when Chris Kelly was called for tripping. After that, because the Wild scored on the power play, it seemed like the Bruins were just kind of lost. Their record right now is of great concern to me, and I’ve expressed my concern here and here, but I do hope that they will improve and get back to being the Big Bad Bruins that I know they are.
at St. Louis Blues
Well…at least we get to have Jack and Brick back for this one, no matter what happens, right? Here’s hoping that a little day of rest the Bruins took on Feb. 20 will pay out with better performances from them.