Ouch! Last night, the Bruins played the Lightning, another desperate team, and it showed that they wanted it much, much more.. this one was over in the first five minutes when it had become 3-0 Lightning. Two of those goals were due to complete bullshit, but they scored so many more times that people say those two didn’t make a difference.. but those people fail to realize that those first goals coming so early in the game and so close together totally amped up the Lightning and deflated the Bruins.. so yes, it does matter! The NHL/refs FAILED once again! If they had made the right calls, this game would’ve gone much differently. But, what’s done is done. Now we just have to focus on getting some points out of this road trip. Right now we’re only 2 points ahead of Ottawa, having played one less game.. If we drop below them, we’ll go from 2nd to 7th and have a much more difficult postseason schedule. It’s a conundrum, though, because coach Claude Julien will want to play our top goalie, Tim Thomas, in the majority of the rest of the regular season, but if he does, Thomas will be too fatigued to do what we need him to do in the playoffs. So, we just have to trust in Julien and (B)elieve! (with a Bruins ‘B’)
Here’s my notes from the game with the plays I felt were worth highlighting and ranting about, along with some videos…
-Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron are back.
-2 mins in, our goalie loses his stick, then the Lightning pass it to Tom Pyatt in front, he kicks the puck in the goal.. it get’s called off because he kicked it in. Then the NHL reviews it and what do you know? The NHL head office are a bunch of fuckin’ Bruins-hating idiots who are completely subjective and unfair and INCONSISTENT!!!! As Jack Edwards said, that call was just “truly incorrect.” He saw the puck coming and made absolutely no attempt to get his stick on it, rather, he angled his foot and slightly kicked as he watch the puck come to him like a soccer player. The NHL hates the Bruins.. plus you know they want to make things interesting by having the Lightning win and have a chance at the playoffs.. so rigged.
-Soon after, nice hit by Johnny Boychuk.
-Right after, Marty Turco goes for the puck in front of him, can’t get it, the Lightning get it.. Nate Thompson scores (his 9th of the season).
-The Bruins have allowed 1st goal in 9 of our last 11 games, and allowed the first two goals in 4 of our last 6 games.
-Soon after, Turco makes a nice save.. a crowd gathers in front of him, so Shawn Thornton comes in to protect and somehow gets a penalty! WTF?!?!
-The Lightning are 5 for 12 on power plays in their last 4 games.
-4.5 mins in, Lightning make a great pass ahead to Ryan Shannon on a breakaway, he dekes, scores (only his fuckin’ 4th of the year). This one wasn’t really Turco’s fault, but they pull him and on a day that Tim Thomas was supposed to get rest, he comes in to play pretty much the whole game.
-6 mins in, Jordan Caron gets a nice shot right from a face-off.
-A minute later, Caron does some nice work bringing the puck in, then a nice hit.
-A minute later, Tyler Seguin gets a nice chance on a breakaway, but gets stopped as Mike Commodore dives and puts his stick between Seguin’s legs and Keith Aulie hooks him.. ya that’s legal.
-Trent Whitfield (called up from the minors for the Bruins) does some good puck work and gets a nice chance.
-Almost halfway through, big save by Thomas on a Lightning rush.
-11 mins in, some good offensive zone work.
-13 mins in, Paille gets a BULLSHIT penalty for slashing.
-On the penalty kill, some big save by Thomas, some good defense.. we kill it.
-Soon after, Victor Hedman shoots a dart of a shot from the blue line and scores (his 4th goal of the season).
-16 mins in, Chris Kelly has a nice shot.
-Right on the next face-off, Thornton fights Commodore.. gets in a bunch of big punches.. A ton of Bruins fans cheer.
-In the rest of the period, the Bruins start looking a little better.
-The period ends 4-0 Lightning with shots on goal 10-2 in their favor.
-Thomas starts in net.
-The Bruins get some good chances and start play a little better.
-Milan Lucic with a nice hit.
-Then Steven Stamkos goes around the net, shoots it towards Thomas from behind, the puck bounces of off the back of Thomas’ leg and in. Thomas gets pulled and Turco goes back in. This was Stamkos’ 49th goal of the season.. he’s looking to get his second season with 50+ goals and to become one of only five players to have done it before the age of 23.
-9 mins in, Caron carries the puck in nicely, then Brendan Mikkelson tries to hit him.. Caron lays him out.
-The Bruins get some more good chances.
-Brian Rolston with a nice shot.
-Seguin gets a breakaway and probably our best scoring chance
-19 mins in, Kelly has a nice one-timer.
-Then Lucic with a nice one.
-Then Lucic drives hard into their end, gets a nice shot off, draws a penalty from Hedman.
-We get a couple more chances and the period ends.
-Shots on goal now 17-13 in favor of the Bruins, so they’ve definitely picked it up.
-Turco starts the period.
-Just over a minute in, we get the puck on goal and it dribbles towards the goal line, but their goalie, Dustin Tokarski, stops it.
-2 mins in, Bergeron wins face-off, blocks a shot and gets injured again.. then we have some nice puck movement.. some nice hits.. Boychuck shoots from the blue line.. Caron with an excellent tip while being pushed down.. goal! Bergeron goes to the locker room.
-Soon after, Dennis Seidenberg shoots a one-timer from blue line, it gets tipped, just misses the top corner.
-Lightning goalie Tokarski tries to clear the puck, doesn’t hit glass and goes into crowd.. he gets a delay of game penalty.
-5.5 mins in, Gregory Campbell gets a good chance.
-Then right after, Thornton gets another good chance.
-Kelly from behind the net to Rolston in front.. good chance.
-Lucic from behind the net passes to Zdeno Chara.. nice chance.
-Then Lucic with a nice hit.
-Then Seguin gets a breakaway and Hedman hooks him but he still gets a nice backhand shot off.. Hedman gets a hooking penalty.
-On the power play: they put a big hit on Bergeron as he pulls it from the side of their net.. I guess he’s back in. A bit later, Seguin to Chara in front.. good chance. Then Lucic with a nice shot. The power play ends.
-Halfway through now, Paille with a nice shot.
-11 mins in, we’re out-shooting them 29-14.
-Less than a minute later, Brad Marchand has a great shot that bounces off the inside of the post.. just millimeters away from a goal.
-Then right after, going the other way, Stamkos rushes in and gets his 50th goal of the season. Props to you Stamkos, but I hate you.
-13 mins in, Campbell with a nice big hit.
-A minute later, we get a nice 3-on-2 rush.. they call it off-sides.. it totally wasn’t. Damn refs/NHL, they’re already up by 5, do you really still need to make these bullshit calls?!
-From of the face-off, Seguin carries the puck ahead and somehow gets called for high sticking as he tried to lift his stick around one of the Lightning players.
-On the penalty kill, we played good defense. Kelly got a nice stick check to deny one of the Lightning a shot on the open side of our net.. they get one shot on goal during the power play and we kill it off.
-After that, during an offensive zone stand, Keith Aulie elbows Andrew Ference in the face away from the play.. no call.. of course.
-In the last minute, Lucic with a good shot.. and it’s Tokarski’s 31st save.
-Then going the other way, Ference with some good defense to break up a 2-0n-1.
-In the last seconds, Lucic to Caron in front, good chance.. they all jam at it for a few seconds.. the game ends.. we lose 6-1.
-Adam McQuaid, Benoit Pouliot, Patrice Bergeron, and Daniel Paille were all skating earlier in the day.
-Going into this game: Bergeron, Paille, and McQuaid were all questionable to play and were game-time decisions.
-In the pre-game skate, Bergeron and Paille were on the ice, but McQuaid and Pouliot were not.
-Going into this game, Bergeron leads the league in face-off wins with 803 and he’s tied for first in the league in +/- rating with a +33!
-Mike Mottau was a healthy scratch.
-Trent Whitfield was called up from the minors to play for us.
-Marty Turco got his first NHL start this season, and his first as a Bruin. Going into the game, his career record against the Lightning was 4-2-0 and the other stats, I only saw a glance, but were something like 2.21 Goals Against Average and a .910 Save Percentage (in 7 games). Those stats were certainly better than how he played in this game.. but I still think they should’ve left him in, as bad as he was on the second goal, because there was nothing he could do about the first and third goals.. and Thomas didn’t even play that much better. I have a feeling that coach Julien will want to start Thomas in our next game against the Panthers, but he reeeeaaally shouldn’t.. Preserving our 2nd place spot in the standings won’t do us any good if Thomas is too worn out to be effective.
-The Lightning’s goalie, Dustin Tokarski, was called up from the minors and is 0-1-1 in his only NHL starts before this. He got his first NHL win with this game.
-Steven Stamkos now has 50 goals this season and leads the NHL with 146 goals since the 2009-10 season.
-After being outshot 10-2 in the first period, the Bruins held a 32-7 edge through the rest of the game.
-We’re officially on a losing streak, having just lost three in a row.
-We’ve given up the first goal in our last six games straight and our record for the last 29 games is only 12-15-2.
-Some of the reasons we’re doing so poorly:
– -The Krejci-Lucic-Seguin line is killing it offensively with 27 points already in March, but they only have a +/- rating of +6 because they’re also killing us defensively.
– -We have guys playing in positions that they normally don’t or that they can’t.
– -We’ve lost our physical edge.. and the NHL had a lot to do with it.. and I actually heard Marchand say that too on WEEI today. Ever since the Marchand and Ference suspensions, as well as the discussion of possible suspension for Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller, the Bruins have been extremely conservative with hitting (by their standards).. and the physical game is one of the most crucial components to a succeeding Bruins team. We mostly use it to intimidate.. teams used to be worried when they played us.. but not anymore. If Brendan Shanahan and the NHL are going to take away what is the absolute biggest cog in the Bruins machine, then they need to do it consistently across all teams! If you look back through my Bruins posts, you’ll that they’re riddled with rants about penalties and dirty hits that were done to the Bruins and didn’t get called or the player didn’t get a suspension.
Here’s a video of NESN’s game preview (with some Bruins/Lightning history):
Here’s a video of Shawn Thornton fighting Mike Commodore:
Here’s a video of the Thornton fight, taken from the front row of the stands:
Here’s a video recap of the goals in the game:
Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1040
Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
Here’s a video of Milan Lucic discussing the Bruins’ struggles:
Thanks for reading,