So I was at the Garden for the game last night and holy shit was it a tidal wave of emotions to the Haitian proportions. Get mad at me for the reference, what the fuck do I care? This game had it all. Fighting (Thornton vs. Shelley and Shelley beat the fuck out of Thornton), goal scoring (12 to be exact), back and forth action, domination by both teams and in the end, the only thing that truly mattered, a Bruins win.
Let’s start off with the good before I expand on the bad and become Mr. Negative once again. The offense was cruising last night. Seven different Bruins scored a goal last night (Chara, Bergeron, Recchi, Ryder, Marchand, Kampfer [GWG] and Campbell [EN]). Another good sign was that the Bruins didn’t quit. There were multiple times last night when the team was down a goal and getting shoved around where they could have thrown their hands in the air and given up. They didn’t. It was refreshing to see them battle back and eventually win the game.
The penalty kill was exceptional last night (which shouldn’t surprise most Bruins fans since it’s been a staple of the “Julien era”). The issue here is the only Bruins penalty came on the dumbest play in hockey; too many men on the ice. Much like the penalty kill, the TMMI penalty is also a staple of the “Julien era”.
With the good comes the bad. Last night the defense was not very good. Zdeno Chara had a terrible game despite scoring a goal and had a few giveaways that led to direct scoring chances (one was a breakaway that led to a goal). It looked like Z was lost out there at times and “haters” will use this in their “strip him of the C” bullshit. I don’t know about you, the reader, but I feel that the C isn’t the be all end all of leadership. Chara can wear the C and guys like Recchi and Bergeron can still be leaders.
Another issue last night was the goal tending. I’m not saying Thomas has lost it, but he wasn’t particularly sharp. He made some amazing saves, but he also let in 5 goals. This could be a byproduct of the defense playing poorly. In fact, I know this is the byproduct of the defense playing poorly. The Flyers had at least four breakaway chances and Briere was wide open on his goal. There’s only so much one man can do when his defense has as many holes as Obama’s healthcare plan. Despite being an issue, Thomas did make some amazing stops and stopped a number of Philly breakaway attempts.
The power play is still a mess. It always has been a mess under Julien and will continue to do so. Last night Boston was 1-5 on the power play with Chara scoring the only goal on a 5 on 3 (if I remember correctly). Even with the 5 on 3, I turned to my brother-in-law and said “They’ll blow this” because we’ve seen it happen time after time. I feel like there is no flow to the power play. The defenseman play to deep on the blue line which leaves a lot of their shots in the body of the opponent. I would say one of the more effective uses of the power play would be to plan Chara in front of the goalie and bring a guy like Boychuk out there to fire rockets. Chara’s massive frame would probably take up 95% of the crease and also allow for tip-ins. I hope the Bruins change their power play philosophy because at 17.3% (good for 18th in the NHL) it won’t help you go far in to the playoffs.
Last thing I want to bitch about is the passing. Jesus fucking Christ the 2 on 1 passing last night was driving me crazy. There were multiple 2 on 1 chances where the Bruins tried to make the extra pass and it blew the chance. It either was mishandled by the recipient or blocked by the Flyers. Next time just shoot the puck (shoooooot?). Only good things can happen if you shoot the puck in that situation.
Sidenote: I was sitting in the lodge last night and these 4 douchebags were throwing peanuts at people. Beginning of the third period the usher tried to throw them all out, but one of the guys was extremely douchebaggy. He started saying shit like “you’re going to throw a Marine out of a Bruins game?”. I want to make one thing clear, if you are being a piece of shit and disrupting people’s good times – you deserve to be thrown out. I don’t care if you are a Marine, a Czar, Prince Edward, Edward from Twilight or Deval Patrick. Best thing about it is the Marine kid was talking shit until BPD came – then he piped right down. Douche.
There will probably be nothing re: tomorrow’s game against Pittsburgh since I have to work at my second job which doesn’t allow me to use a computer. Bastards.