Posted by: emmaharger | March 26, 2012

Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad: The Bruins Visit California

Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks

2-1, Sharks

Goals: Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Daniel Winnik (San Jose), Zdeno Chara (Boston)

Goalies: Antti Niemi (16/17, .941%), Tim Thomas (25/27, .926%)

Writeups: Yahoo and Rant

The Good:

No other game this season is going to begin at 10:30 Eastern time! Yay!

Tim Thomas was really strong in this game. Sure, the scoreboard says otherwise, but there are five other guys a puck has to get through before him. He can’t be everything. But he was basically the only guy who came to this game with a willingness to play. Maybe time changes don’t affect him after so much time spent playing in Finland.

Zdeno Chara notched one for dignity when he scored with about five minutes left in the third. Antti Niemi was down and flailing around like a fish, leaving a great opportunity, so Chara put it home. That did mean that the Bruins weren’t shut out. Silver lining on the cloud.

The Bad:

"Hey, isn't that wrong?" -My friend Arian

Yes, Arian, it is wrong. When it’s done to anyone other than Brad Marchand.

The first period was just…unremarkable. I’m used to staying up late, but people who specially stayed up late for this game probably wondered if they’d made a mistake. Joe Pavelski scored and the Bruins just seemed too tired to really want to do anything about it. Actually, that lack of momentum carried over into the second period.

The Ugly:

Once again, one mistake led to the entire undoing of the Bruins. Milan Lucic screwed up, gave away the puck and that led directly to Pavelski’s goal. The Bruins just never recovered from the mistake. I guess I kind of thought the team was over that!

The Bruins were just outworked, outshot, outwitted by the Sharks. There’s really no other way to say it. What a strange little aberration of a late-night game. It’d be nice to just pretend that it never happened.

Next Game:

Below!

Boston Bruins at Los Angeles Kings

4-2, Bruins

Goals: Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Colin Fraser (Los Angeles), Milan Lucic (Boston), Chris Kelly (Boston), Slava Voynov (Los Angeles), Brad Marchand (Boston, empty net)

Goalies: Tim Thomas (40/42, .952%), Jonathan Quick (22/25, .880%)

Writeups: Yahoo and Rant

The Good:

Happy 1,000, Big Z. I wrote another article singing his praises, so I’ll keep it pithy here, but here’s to 1,000 more.

Hey, if Teemu Selanne and Nicklas Lidstrom are still kickin'...

An unusual thing happened during a first period that, once again, wasn’t super intriguing to watch. Chris Kelly got in a fight with Trevor Lewis! Kelly earned the takedown, though. He’s fought only twice before this game in this season and the Bruins won one game, lost the other. So now the record for when Kelly fights is 2-1. Kelly later scored–the Bruins’ record for when Kelly scores is really great, I think 23-0-0 or something like that–so he was 2/3 of the way to a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Turco approves.

Tim Thomas was fantastic again after being basically one of the only good things about that bad San Jose game. When the Kings got on the board, though, some fans saw fit to chant his name. I was like “Hang on, are we in Winnipeg? Are we doing this thing where we taunt a goalie for letting in one when he’s the current holder of pretty much every award that can be given to a single goalie, not a tandem?” Gimme a break!

It was amusing to hear the Bruins Nation Southwest, LA Area fans there, though. When they chanted “WOO!” after the goal announcements–magnificent.

At last!

YES! Patrice Bergeron scored for the first time in the month of March and the first time since the Feb. 25 matchup against Ottawa. His goal was set up by great work from Brad Marchand, too, the guy who later put home an empty net goal at 19:59 of the third.

Milan Lucic, the guy whose every moves were met with something I could not accurately place (was it booing? was it “Looch”ing? It was never made clear), also put one away.

The Bad:

Good golly, that first period. Plagued with more starts and stops than LA traffic itself (believe me–I have a friend who goes to school in Long Beach, but interns in Los Angeles, and she says the traffic is awful), at one point there was a six-minute stoppage for absolutely no reason. They adjusted nothing on the clock, there were no equipment malfunctions to fix, just a whole lotta nothin’ and folks making jokes on Twitter to pass the time.

The Ugly:

That was Colin Fraser’s second of the year. He hadn’t scored since it said 2011 on the calendars. If you’ve scored like once or twice in the entire season, look to get your next one against the Bruins.

Next Game:

Look down!

Boston Bruins at Anaheim Ducks

3-2, Bruins

Goals: Zdeno Chara (Boston), Benoit Pouliot (Boston), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim), Brian Rolston (Boston), Lubomir Visnovsky (Anaheim)

Goalies: Marty Turco (25/27, .926%), Jonas Hiller (22/25, .880%)

Writeups: Yahoo and Rant

The Good:

Joking about the coloration of Marty Turco‘s pads…because he did so well while wearing them, too.

Naoko Funayama called it butterscotch.

In all seriousness, though, I am glad Turco got the nod for this game. Tim will get some rest even if he’s chosen for Tuesday, Turc gets to erase the memories of that icky Tampa Bay game and the team gets two points. Everyone wins. Except the Ducks. They didn’t win.

OH AND. RICH PEVERLEY IS BACK.

He’d been out for a little over a month and the team has been missing his presence. Good to see you back, Pevs.

Did you know the Bruins now have five different 20-goal scorers? They are Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Better yet, Chris Kelly has 19, so we are close to having six.

Speaking of Bergeron, he won faceoffs like a BOSS. Pretty much any time 37 was at the dot, he controlled the faceoff. That’s good because then Boston can start working plays right away. Selke, etc.

In my game notes I have this tidbit: “UM BRIAN ROLSTON YOU BETTER WORK.” But seriously, he scored and assisted twice. He had a three-point night and kept his point streak going (six games now). That third line is on fire…and that’s our third line. Are we getting back to being blessed with lots of productive lines? Yes, we need this.

Zdeno Chara had a big night, scoring on a slapper and also making one of his Chara saves when the net needed his tending. (Later a reporter asked Tim Thomas about Chara’s netminding technique and Thomas joked that he was the least qualified person to ask about goalie technique.)

Chara congratulates his cub.

That disallowed goal. It was nice to have a ref’s call go Boston’s way for once, but a lot of people thought the call should not have been made. Andrew Cogliano had both feet in the blue paint and seemed to be pressing onto Turco, so folks brought out rule 69 (stop snickering), which says “Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease.” I mean, in the end Anaheim scored again anyway and brought it back within one, but I have to admit, after the kicking fiasco in Tampa Bay, it was nice to have the men in stripes do something beneficial to the Bs.

The last time Boston beat Anaheim was 2009. But the last time Boston beat Anaheim IN CALIFORNIA? 2003.

The Bad:

Good lord, I just realized all three games had uneventful first periods. Were the later starts of all three a little much, boys?

The Ugly:

Honestly, there wasn’t much ugly about this showing. That’s a good thing.

Next Game:

vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

March 27

NBC Sports Network

Oh God, the team that dealt us the 6-1 loss recently. Not sure if want.

-Emma


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