Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Game 54: The Rivalry

Marc Savard will be shut down for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, an announcement that was not a shock to Bruins fans. The B's will be losing a quality first-line center and that is a position that is scarce in the NHL. Not only is Savard the best offensive player on the team (when healthy that is), but he also within the top three players in the division with Drew Stafford of the Buffalo Sabres and Alexei Kovalev of the Ottawa Senators.

Oh yes, that's right. There was a hockey game tonight, a game that re-newed the best rivalry in the histroy of sports in which the Montreal Canadiens visited the Garden. Montreal was 11-3-1 in the Northeast Division and was 3-0-0 against the Bruins this season entering tonight. Before the game, Claude Julien stated that Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch. He will be replaced by Jordan Caron. I hate saying "I told you so."

Both teams got off to a really slow start and both teams started off sloppy. Players from both teams were slipping on the ice trying to chase down loose pucks. However, the B's found their rhythm by scoring two goals in 12 seconds. Brad Marchand (15th of the season) and Dennis Seidenberg (5th of the season) were the goal scorers. It was nice to see Milan Lucic get that mean streak back at the end of the first period by shoving MTL goaltender Carey Price. Bruins led 2-0 after one.

It wouldn't be a rival game without it being close. The Canadiens came within one on Brian Gionta's goal 30 seconds into the second period. The Bruins later allow another power play goal when P.K. Subban ties the game at two with a one-time shot at the top of the zone.

But the story of the second period: we wittnessed a Donnybrook on the ice! All 10 skaters dropped the gloves after Marchand came in with a hit after an offsides whistle. Even Tim Thomas hooked up with Carey Price. The entire Bergeron line (Bergeron, Marchand, Recchi), along with Zdeno Chara and Steve Kampfer all stuffed into the box for roughing penalties. At the end of an intense second period, the Bruins led 6-4. Lucic added two more goals to his team-leading 23rd of the season.

10 goals total within the first two periods. Did I mention that these two teams have the number one (BOS) and number two (MTL) defenses in the league respectively?

The third period picked up where the second period left off as the excitement continued. After Montreal scored another power play goal, Michael Ryder scores his second goal of the game after having one waved off just seconds earlier. That is some poetic justice right there. Nathan Horton scored a goal to add to his five point night. The game ended with another Donnybrook. Gregory Campbell, ShawnThornton, Andrew Ference, and Johnny Boychuk all scrapped and all destroyed their opponents.

Bruins put up a snowman tonight as they win the game 8-6. 12 Bruins players had at least one point. Lucic and Ryder both had incredible games and David Krejci is back to his puck distributing form. It's a good thing Tyler Seguin was scratched from this game because he would have been lost out there.

Gold Star: Nathan Horton (1 goal, 4 assists, 6 shots on goal, +5 rating)...Horton also had three penalties and he took the walk of shame on two of them. Good thing you had a great game.
Black Star: Tim Thomas - I understand it was an exciting game, but you are supposed to be the front-runner for the Venzina Trophy. 6 goals is 6 goals Timmy...and we can't have you scrapping. Keep on smiling, but keep your cool.

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