Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Goals: Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Benoit Pouliot x2, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Brian Rolston, Tyler Seguin (all Boston)
Goalies: Tim Thomas (13/13, 1.000%), James Reimer (5/9, .556%), Jonas Gustavsson (11/15, .733%)
About this time last week, the Bruins were getting smoked and demolished 6-1 by the Lightning, including four first-period goals against. Well, things completely and totally changed this week. This week, the Bruins got the four first-period goals. The Bruins seemed to win everything and click and just do everything right. Hallelujah. You know how I know this was a good game? Youtube user dafoomie, who usually posts highlights from Bruins games, had gone quiet since the last Maple Leafs game…and stormed back into top form with this one.
In fact, they put up a 10 minute highlight reel. Enjoy.
The domination started with Chris Kelly‘s goal just over two minutes into the first and never stopped. Gregory Campbell‘s wraparound was hilarious because I didn’t expect it to work, but when it did, I just had to laugh. Benoit Pouliot did a great job and then Tyler Seguin fed Brad Marchand on the power play (Marchand popped it in from a terrible angle) to make it 4-0 before the end of 20.
4-0 would’ve been a satisfying final score, but the Bruins decided to make it a double. Pouliot added another, Zdeno Chara scored on the power play and Brian Rolston put in what Jack Edwards mistakenly thought was his first as a Bruin. Incorrect; his first as a Bruin came in the 6-2 drubbing by the Panthers. (Edwards joked that he’d tried to repress that memory when he was corrected. Eh, it happens.) By contrast, the third period looked like the Bruins were slacking off. Just one goal, by Seguin? We’ll take the 8-0 and two points, thanks.
The third line just had a really good night tonight: after a little monkeying around with the lines post-trade deadline, it seems like the trios are a little more settled now. Kelly scored and assisted, Pouliot scored twice and assisted, but the biggest night belonged to Rolston. He had a four-point night. That is not a typo. FOUR. He scored and provided three helpers. A night like that earned him the first star both inside the game and for the entire NHL (alongside Alexander Ovechkin, who had a two-point night, and Josh Harding, who got a shutout). By the way, as absurd as this may sound, he’s on a three-game assisting streak.
My friend Arian captioned this photo of Milan Lucic, post-fight with Mike Komisarek, with the ref saying “This guy. He [messes stuff] up.”
Also, Gregory Campbell tussled with Luke Schenn. He didn’t earn the shiner on his face from this fight, but this photo is still awesome.
Tim Thomas may have earned his easiest shutout ever, having to make just 13 saves. In the first period, he was tested twice. Perhaps this was all the rest he needed. I also heard him say that after Tuukka Rask got injured, he felt sick for about a week, so this could explain his sluggishness thereafter. C’mon Tim, don’t forget to take your Flintstones vitamins! Ahahaha it’s funny because he’s from Flint.
Also, this is the part where I point out that Joe Corvo was scratched again. I AM JUST SAYING.
And Greg Zanon appears to be sprouting an absolutely killer muzzy. Look at this thing.
The Bruins weren’t terribly good at winning faceoffs in this game, but you know what? Once they got the puck, or it was graciously given away to them by a Maple Leaf, they managed to do some good things with it. So maybe this isn’t so bad.
Other things that aren’t bad so much as wee bothersome things to me: the fact that Pouliot didn’t get a hat trick (oh, he tried, and Kelly tried to dish pucks to him, but this isn’t the first time a near-hatty scorer has been foiled this season) and the fact that Patrice Bergeron didn’t get on the score sheet at all. It’s been almost a month since he last scored and this game was so miraculous that I figured the golden touch would hit him too. Well, there’s still time.
I mean, it’s kind of hard to not feel bad for long-suffering Maple Leafs fans after this. This game was relentless. I know that feeling of watching your team go down a 0-4 hole before 20 minutes elapses. They just seem to be having excessively bad luck this season, which began so well for them–remember in October when folks legitimately felt they had a good shot at a long playoff run? (Which would’ve been their first since the lockout. Presuming Florida makes the playoffs, which is a pretty safe bet at this point, that’ll leave Toronto alone as the last team to not go postseason since 2005.) I relish this victory, but there is a cost…
vs. San Jose Sharks
This game’s a late-night start, at least for East Coast folks. Good thing I’m a night owl. Also, I was at the last game these two teams played, so there will be some fun memories for me on this next matchup. (Let’s just hope the scoreboard looks better than the last time!)