It’s Crunch Time.. Bruins Crunch Harder than the Sabres

Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal with teammates behind Jhonas Enroth (3/8/12)

The Bruins' Johnny Boychuk celebrates his goal against the Sabres' goalie Jhonas Enroth with teammates.

3/8/12: Bruins vs Sabres - Final Score (3-1 Bruins)

Last night the Bruins battled the rival Buffalo Sabres and it appears as though they have hit a turning point.  While they’ve been mediocre recently, they looked much better in this game.  We dominated the majority of the game in terms of scoring chances and offensive zone time.  In the first period, regardless of the fact that we were the better team for about the first 17 minutes, the Sabres scored near the end.  At that point, Bruins fans started to worry that the momentum of our last game and those first 17 minutes would be short-lived and we would go back to being average.. but that was not the case.. not at all!  The Bruins came back with just as much energy, if not more!  They went on to make a serious comeback and win.  This was the first time that we’ve had consecutive wins since January 10th and 12th.  The way they played and the passion and intensity they showed leads me to believe that the Bruins have figured out how to make it work with all the injured players that are out and that they have gotten their game back.. for real this time!

As usual, since the next game is already tomorrow, I’m posting my notes with highlights of the best plays and the key points I want to make.  Hopefully I can can make it look good later, but it is hard to keep up.  So, if anyone wants to be a contributor, send me a message or leave a comment.  Here’s my notes and some videos…

1st Period
-Just over a minute in, Milan Lucic to David Krejci.. good scoring chance
-A minute later, Lane MacDermid says hi to Patrick Kaleta.
-Then Adam McQuaid puts a big hit on him.
-Soon after, Johnny Boychuk beats Jhonas Enroth but it goes over the bar.
-Some good chances, some back and forth.
-McQuaid nice steal to prevent a Sabres rush.
-6.5 mins, Patrice Bergeron gets a piece of a pass to him for a one-timer.
-A min later, Brian Rolston nice shot.
-8 mins in, Shawn Thornton big hit, then the guy holds on to him (no call).
-Soon after, MacDermid makes a nice steal.
-Brad Marchand nice little jab to Derek Roy while they both go to bench.. doing his thing.
-10 mins in, nice rush, Krejci to Lucic, had a good chance, save Enroth, but one of the Sabres gets a penalty for hooking Lucic.
-On power play, we get a couple of good chances.
-Benoit Poultiot had a nice move, dangles past one of the Sabres, to Bergeron.. he gets a good chance.
-13 mins in, Boychuk flattens one of the Sabres.
-16 mins in, nice moves by Pouliot.  Soon after, he has a nice shot.
-Right after that, Jason Pominville rushes in on the side, 2-on-1 against Zdeno Chara, he just shoots, he scores top glove corner over Tim Thomas’ glove.. Chara shouldn’t have given him that much room, and Thomas probably should’ve had it. And of course this would happen when we were the better team and playing well all game until this.
-18 mins, Lucic to Krejci, good chance.
-One of the Bruins (I forget which.. didn’t write it down) gets a few quick punches on Mike Weber for boxing him out in the slot.
-Right after, Cody Hodgson rushes in, Jordan Caron gets penalty for hooking him.. it was close though.. he really just lifted his stick, but it was high up on the stick, so looked like hooking.. and Dennis Seidenberg had dove to knock the puck from Hodgson.
-We kill 1:45 of the penalty to end the period.
-It’s 1-0 Sabres even though we were the better team for about 17 of the 20 minutes.
-We got lots of scoring chances, but turnovers are becoming a problem.

2nd Period
-We finish killing the Sabres’ power play.
-Right after, Tyler Seguin to Lucic.. good chance, just over the bar, top corner.
-After that, the Sabres rush in and Thomas makes a big save on Roy.
-4.5 in, one of the Sabres tries to check Krejci, who had the puck in their zone, and bounced off.  Krejci proceeded to make a good play.
-Soon after, Lucic nice steal, then good chance.
-After that, MacDermid had a good shot.
-Soon after, 6 mins in, Thomas makes a big kick save at point black range!
-8 mins in, Seguin gets a breakaway.. nice shot.. big save Enroth.
-10 mins in, some good possession, good chances, then the Sabres get the puck but Lucic knocks down Hodgson.
-14 mins in, more good offensive work.. Seidenberg has a great shot from the blue line, had Enroth beat but hits post.. it bounces off Enroth towards goal, but he grabs it.
-Seguin makes a nice steal in their end, would’ve had a good chance but they couldn’t control the puck.
-16 mins in, a bunch of Bruins would’ve had nice chances but couldn’t control the puck.
-Soon after, Thomas makes a big save in a defensive scramble.
-18 mins in, the Sabres turn it over, Thornton takes a great shot from the blue line, Gregory Campbell with an amazing tip to get the puck just over Enroth’s glove.. goal!  It all started with a great pass ahead by Joe Corvo.
-With a minute left, some shoving.. everyone comes over.. the refs stop it.. Kaleta still tries to do something.. well, just tried to look like he would do something.. because he knows he wouldn’t be able to.. haha then McQuaid steps between Kaleta and the Bruin he was yelling at.. Kaleta shut up real quick.
-A couple nice hits after that.
-With about 20 secs left, oneitimer by Pouliot.. it almost went over Enroth as it bounced up off of Chris Kelly’s stick right in front of him.
-The period ends tied 1-1.

3rd Period
-Caron starting period on Bergeron line.. so that’s wasn’t just temporary.
-A minute in, Bergeron nice one timer.
-2 mins in, Thornton knocks down Kaleta, some nice work by the Campbell line.
-5 mins in, big save by Thomas on a Sabres 3-on-2 rush.
-Soon after, we’re in their end for a bit, Seguin hits top post on a long shot.
-Some more good chances.
-Almost halfway through, Boychuk huge hit on Thomas Vanek to lay him out.
-A minute later, McQuaid pass to Kelly in front had Enroth beat but he couldn’t get a good shot off.. went 5 hole, which Enroth had closed.
-Big hit on Ville Leino to keep puck in.
-12 mins in, Seidenberg stops their rush with a big hit.
-13 mins in, Boychuk scores with a bomb one-timer on a loose puck (1st goal in 39 games)!
-Half a minute later, the Sabres put a big hit on Marchand and he skates off hurt.
-14.5 mins in, Thomas has two quick big saves.
-Soon after, Leino tries to hit MacDermid and bounces off.
-16 mins in, Chara spins away from Roy, passes ahead to Seguin to Lucic to Krejci.. goal!
-Bergeron strong against Hodgson to clear the puck out of our zone.
-One of the Bruins gets it (I forget who) with just over a min, passes ahead to Caron with the Sabres coming fast, so had to shoot quick and it was a bit far from him.. he misses the empty net.. but it’s ok…
-We defend..  We win!

Final Thoughts
-Surprisingly no fights.. some big hits though!
-Chara played super hard in the end and made some great plays.
-Enroth had a 12.79 GAA against Boston going into this game.
-Rask, Peverley, Ference, Horton, all out with injuries, and Zanon a healthy scratch.
-The Bruins haven’t had consecutive wins since Jan 10th and 12th.
-After this game, when the Bruins are up by 2, under coach Claude Julien, we win 94.7% of
the time.. it’s happened 177 times and our record for those games is 160-5-12. (I may have
gotten that last part wrong, but I heard the percentage for sure because it was so crazy)
That stat comes to you thanks to NESN’s Jack Edwards, who always has a nifty stat to throw at you.
-For the Bruins, Boychuk’s huge hit on Vanek seems to have been the turnaround point not only for that game, but for the road ahead..  They definitely came back hard in the game after that hit, but we shall see this weekend if they can maintain that momentum..  They will play the Washington Capitals, who are playing hard to secure a spot in the playoffs, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who amazingly are 19-4-1 without Sidney Crosby since his re-concussion.. and he may or may not be back on the ice for that game.

Here’s a game preview (shows some rivalry history/build-up):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve5wRb1yNqM

Here’s a video of Gregory Campbell’s goal:
http://youtu.be/CerZF40b4zE

Here’s a video of Johnny Boychuk’s “Johnny Rocket” goal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qw7r3cK8FmE

Here’s a video of David Krejci’s goal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnn2w71fq4

Here’s a short video recap of the game:
http://youtu.be/IRI8bPtJuDg

Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game:
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,998

Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=28394&location=/photos&pg=1

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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About bost0nfire

Here in Boston, our pro sports teams won seven championships in a decade, with all teams accounted for. That means the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and yes the New England Patriots.. they did play in Boston at one time after all.. and they're still our team. So, I declare Boston to be the City of Champions. ... Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/b0stonwins?ref=hl ... Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BostonWins_Blog ... **** READER DISCRETION ADVISED: Adult Language may be used.
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