Bruins Cali Road Trip Part 1: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Tim Thomas makes a big save while on his back (3/22/12)

The Bruins' goalie Tim Thomas makes a big save while on his back.

3/22/12: Bruins at Sharks - Final Score (2-1 Sharks)

The Bruins were up.. way up, having just won two games, one of them an 8-0 blowout.. but last night they played the Sharks and they went right back down.  They’ve been on a rollercoaster in the past few months, going from extremes of being wicked awesome to being so unable to get any offense going that it’s hard to believe it’s the same team..  And it’s starting to get pretty frustrating for Bruins fans.  Still, it wasn’t a terrible loss considering the Sharks were playing hard with some serious desperation and their goalie Antti Niemi made some great saves.

It just doesn’t make sense how the Bruins can win 8-0, then in their next game, only get 9 shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.  It seems like as soon as they start winning or getting their rhythm back, they get too comfortable and don’t play as hard.  They need to bring up their energy level and start putting in a full 60 minute quality effort.  Too often they come out laggish and allow the first goal.. and playing from behind is losing hockey.

So, the Bruins won’t get the five game win streak I had thought they had a good chance at..  But I still think they can win the next two games against the L.A. Kings and the Anaheim Ducks this weekend..  or at least beat the Ducks, seeing as the Kings have hit a hot streak with six consecutive wins.  Even so, they still have trouble putting points on the board, so we do have a good chance of beating them.. and it would really help because we will be playing some of the best teams in the league in the last couple weeks of the season.  So get energized, Bruins, and let’s try to get back our rhythm and consistency!

Joe Thornton puts back pressure on Milan Lucic and David Krejci (3/22/12)

The Sharks' Joe Thornton (a former Bruin) puts good back pressure on a Bruins offensive rush with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. He played well like this throughout the game. We miss you, buddy!

Here’s my notes from the game with the plays I felt were worth highlighting and ranting about, along with some videos…

1st Period
-In the first couple minutes, neither team could get anything going, then two minutes in, Zdeno Chara puts a nice big hit on one of the Sharks, but then a defensive breakdown gave a good chance.. nice save by Tim Thomas.
-Almost a minute later, Gregory Campbell wins an offensive zone face-off to Shawn Thornton for a one-timer.. good chance, nice save by Niemi.
-A minute later, Chara gives a few more big hits.
-Right after, at four mins in, Milan Lucic turns the puck over to them in our end.. nice save by Thomas.. then we give it up to Joe Thornton (former Bruin.. miss him).. defensive breakdown.. huge kick save by Thomas.. then Joe Pavelski scores his 27th goal of the season off of the rebound.
-About a minute later, Greg Zanon gives a nice pass ahead for a good scoring chance.. then we keep it in their end for a bit and start to get things going.
-Then back in our end, nice save by Thomas.
-Then their Thornton with some great work.. man.. really miss him.
-Eight minutes in, Brad Marchand with good work then a nice shot.
-A minute later, the Sharks do a cross-ice pass.. nice save Thomas.
-Then another save by Thomas a minute later.. getting just enough on it to deflect it away.
-11 minutes in, Campbell gets a tripping penalty for his leg on leg hit on one of the Sharks.. Shawn Thornton tries to start a fight.. the refs break it up.  The Sharks are 4th in league on the power play.
-On the penalty kill, we give a good defensive effort and do good work keeping the puck to the perimeter.. we kill off the penalty.
-14 minutes in, we do some good work entering the offensive zone then a nice shot by Zanon.. then some more good offensive work.
-16 minutes in, we give some big hits.
-A couple mins later, Chara does a great job to keep the puck in the offensive zone and get a nice shot off.
-We get a couple more good chances, then the period ends 1-0 Sharks.

2nd Period
-A minute in, we have a defensive turnover.. we recover.. then going the other way, we get a 2-on-1 rush and a nice shot.. I think by Marchand.
-About a minute later, Thornton lays out one of the Sharks right before the whistle for us being offsides.
-About three minutes in, the Sharks get an offensive zone stand with some nice shots.. Thomas makes some big saves.
-Then we drive back the other way but they take it and bring it back and Thomas makes a huge save on his back.
-Soon after, David Krejci with a nice pass to Jordan Caron in front.. nice chance.
-A couple minutes later, we make a nice steal in neutral zone and pass ahead to Brian Rolston for a nice shot.
-The game continues with lots of back and forth.
-Then about 11 minutes in, Marchand with a nice big neutral zone hit.. then soon after we go on the power play as Justin Braun gets a slashing penalty.  While the Sharks are one of the best in the league on the power play, their one of the worst (27th) on the penalty kill and the worst when at home.
-We start off the power play with an offensive zone face-off win and a nice shot..  Then the Sharks clear the puck and Joe Thornton stops us as we try to rush back in.  He put in a great effort in this game.. I’m really missing him.  They kill the penalty.
-15 minutes in, it’s been more back and forth, we give some nice hits, then Thomas makes a nice save.
-Then we step it up with some great work and close shots.. amidst that, and in the next couple minutes, Thomas makes some more big saves.
-In the last minute, we have some good offensive work, then back in our end, Caron with good back pressure, then Chara with a nice hit.
-The period ends, still 1-0 Sharks.

3rd Period
-A couple minutes in, the Sharks’ Daniel Winnik scores with a dart of a shot, high over the stick side of Thomas.. it was only his sixth goal of the season and his first in 44 games.. it was a good shot, bu one that Thomas probably should’ve had.
-Soon after, Dennis Seidenberg rushes in then takes a nice shot.. then Chara with a nice shot.. then soon after we get a shot with a double deflection.. but Niemi makes a big save.
-Five minutes in, Campbell and Andrew Desjardins both get kicked out of an offensive zone face-off.. then they start poking at each other like they might fight, but didn’t.. then we get a good scoring chance.
-Then a “Lets go Bruins” chant breaks out.. we’ve seen all over the place on the road this season.  Either our fans in other cities are more comfortable cheering for us because we won the Stanley Cup last year, or our fanbase grew because of it.  Actually, it’s probably both, but regardless, it’s still good to see.
-In the next few minutes, there’s more back and forth and the Bruins get some good scoring chances.
-Soon after, Chara and Thornton, the two captains, get physical knocking each other around a bit.. but no fight.
-Then Michal Handzus holds Marchand without getting a penalty as he should’ve.. so the refs let Marchand retaliate without a call.
-Then give the puck away in our end and Thomas has to make a couple big saves.
-16 minutes in, we get a bunch great chances in a row, then Chara gets the puck and drags it around two of their defenseman and Niemi (who is laying on the ground).. he shoots it off Niemi and it bounces in.. he scores his 11th goal of the season!
-Then back in our end, the puck bounces off the ref right to one of the Sharks.. he shoots.. nice save by Thomas.. and good job by Andrew Ference to close his shooting lane.
-Then we get a couple more good chances.
-Then just under two minutes left, they do a nice cross-ice pass to Joe Thornton, who shoots.. big save by Thomas.
-With one minute left, we pull Thomas for an extra attacker.
-We get the puck to their end, Johnny Boychuk takes a nice shot.. but then we can’t get established it in their end.
-Joe Thornton and the Sharks’ desperation and good defense continue.. it ends 2-1 Sharks.

Final Thoughts / Notes
-Rich Peverley skated earlier in the day.. he’s getting closer to a return.
-This was Zdeno Chara’s 999th game in the NHL!
-Recently, Brian Rolston has been great and has really started to fit in.. going into this game he had a 3 game point streak with 2 goals, 5 assists, and a +/- rating of +5.
-Tim Thomas, in the last 2 games before this, was 2-0-0 with a whopping 0.96 GAA!
-This was Thomas’ 14th consecutive start.. he really needs rest, but they’re trying to ensure that we’re a top seed for the playoffs so we can get home ice advantage.
-Our defensive breakdown early in the first period changed the whole game.. we had to play from behind from pretty much the start of the game.. something we were once pretty good at recovering from, but recently, falling behind almost guarantees us a loss.
-The Sharks’ desperation gave them a very high energy level that we just couldn’t keep up with (though we could’ve if the Bruins weren’t so out of it).
-We were outshot 20-9 in the first two periods, and 27-17 for the whole game.
-We haven’t had 4 straight road losses since December of 2009.

I still believe that we can win the next two games.. or at least beat the Ducks and put up a good fight against the Kings.  As we’ve seen, the only consistency that the Bruins have right now is with how often their game goes up and down.. and it was down in this game, so that means it’s quite possible we could beat the Kings like 10-0.  We shall see.  Even if we keep this up and fall down to 7th in the standings, we’ll still go to the playoffs.. yes, if that happens we won’t have home ice advantage, but last year, we won the Stanley Cup without it.. so it’s not the end of the world.. though I really badly do want to see them win the Cup at home.  Remember fans, (B)elieve! (with a Bruins ‘B’)

Here’s NESN’s game preview (with Bruins/Sharks history & build-up):

Here’s a video of Zdeno Chara’s goal:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1109&event=S.J492

Here are videos of a few of Tim Thomas’ big saves:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1109&event=S.J215
* http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1109&event=S.J218
* http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1109&event=S.J247

Here’s a video recap of the goals and big saves in the game:

Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game:
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1109

Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=28776&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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One Response to Bruins Cali Road Trip Part 1: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

  1. news says:

    I love your wordpress layout, where did you get a hold of it?

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