Alright, All-Star break is over. Time to get back on what I’ll tentatively call The Road to Glory: Part 2. And what better way to start the season up again than to have the two All-Star team captains (Bruins’ Zdeno Chara and Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson) face each other in a rematch.. with their own teams. Of course, I had to be there.. and you know it was epic!
The Bruins were definitely a bit rusty, but the Senators are.. well.. the Senators, apparently. By this I mean that regardless of how much better they are this year than in the recent past, they were pretty bad to begin with, so they’re still not what I would consider one of the elite. But I will admit they’re much better, and they did have me a tiny bit worried.. but it turned out pretty much as I thought it would. I predicted we’d win 5-3 with an empty-netter.. and we did have that chance when it was 4-3 near the end. I did not think, however, that the Senators would surge like they did.. and Alfredsson had a really close shot that I had a great view of.. it was scary close.. great snapshot to the top corner.
But this was a home game for the Bruins.. and they stepped up and said “This is our house!” Which they’ve been doing a lot more this season.. keep it up guys! So, there was some back and forth, but the ice started to tilt in our favor. Late in the first period, we had a power play and Chara got the puck.. I yelled “108!” ..as in his latest 108.8 mph slapshot record.. He takes the shot.. goal! It was funny to later hear Jack Edwards (a fantastic announcer) yell that too on tv. And apparently Chara can get the puck from blue line to the goal line in .4 seconds! Too fast for Senators goalie Craig Anderson.. who I will admit is pretty good. He’s like the Eli Manning of goalies.. people want to throw him in the discussion of who’s elite, and I agree he’s close, but he’s not there yet (even though he has played some great games against top teams).
With about seven minutes left in the period, the Senators’ instigator, Chris Neil, tried to put a big, dangerous hit on ours, Shawn Thornton, who was on a semi-breakaway. The hit barely connected, but you have to love how Thornton immediately went tunnel-vision on Neil, completely ignoring the puck right next to him. It’s ok, looking to take on Neil was probably more important to boosting the Bruins at that point. A minute later, Neil checks Thornton into the boards.. they fight. Thornton kicked some serious ass, as usual. Check out the video of it below.. and notice how in this fight and the one to be mentioned next, the Bruins’ players are man enough to not rip off the opponent’s helmet.. at least not till late in the fight, whereas the Senators make sure it’s the first thing they do.. They’re not really that tough, it’s a front. By the way, it took awhile for Thornton to get Neil to fight.. While Neil does what he has to for his team, he’s really a pussy on the inside.
Here’s a video of Shawn Thornton fighting Chris Neil:
Here’s a higher quality version:
Less than two minutes later, the Bruins’ Adam McQuaid fights the Senators’ Zenon Konopka. On a side-note, I love McQuaid’s mullet.. He looks (and acts) like he should’ve been on the Bruins in the 70’s. Once again, a Bruins player kicks ass in a fight.
Here’s a video of Adam McQuaid fighting Zenon Konopka:
So we skate on.. mostly in their end.. but still quite rusty (fanned shots and uncontrolled pucks all over the place). With about a minute left in the first period, the Senators score on a redirect (which I guess I’ll give them as intentional). We go into the first intermission tied at one.
In the second period, things started to swing more in the Senators’ favor. They had a few quick counter-attacks and ended up scoring twice to put them up 3-1. We had to score again this period if we wanted to stay in it. Well, with under a minute in the period, Rich Peverley passes it to Milan Lucic.. goal! So, we go into the second intermission down 3-2 but with some momentum.
A few minutes into the third period, Brad Marchand works on a rebound from a shot by Joe Corvo.. he muscles through a stick check.. scores! Now we’ve tied it.
A few minutes later, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg carries the puck forward from the his end and shoots it in on Anderson, just trying to get it into the offensive zone and maybe create a rebound.. Ya.. he scored a 90-foot goal that was literally taken from center ice! Now we’re up 4-3 and the Senators just can’t bounce back. We’re also up 3-0 in the season series against them.
Here’s a video of Dennis Seidenberg’s goal from center ice:
So, we still lead the Northeast Division, and I don’t think we’re giving it up any time soon.. The next closest in the standings are the Senators, who are six points behind us, and have played five more games than us. We’re also second in the Eastern Conference.. and we would only be one point behind the leaders, the New York Rangers, if the Buffalo Sabres didn’t suck so massively hard.. They played each other last night, and Buffalo really should’ve had it with all the power plays they had when it was still 0-0 at the end.. but nooooo.. they have to go and miss all sorts of shots, even wide open ones.
Anyways, coming back from the break, we definitely had some rust, but we worked through it and came out victorious. As I said, it was pretty much what I expected. So, while Ottawa has improved a lot, and Alfredsson does have a ton of skill, he’s just not enough to carry the team, and the team doesn’t have what it takes to hang with Boston.
P.S. While looking for Bruins pictures, I found an older one where Lucic just destroyed Neil.. It’s such a feel-good picture for Bruins fans that I just had to throw it in here…
Thanks for reading,