Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Game 80: "It's A Bird, It's A plane, It's A Vezina Trophy Candidate"

It is that time of the season. It is time to recognize the Boston Bruins top performers of the 2010-2011 season. Before the game, 98.5 The Sports Hub Bruins play-by-play voice Dave Goucher announced the various awards to recognize certain Bruins players for their work on and off the ice:

Eddie Shore Award (most hustle and determination ) - Shawn Thornton

Elizabeth Dufresne Award (outstanding play at home) - Tim Thomas

John Bucyk (outstanding work in the community) - Andrew Ference

Bruins Radio Network #3 Star Award- Milan Lucic

Bruins Radio Network #2 Star Award- Patrice Bergeron

Bruins Radio Network #1 Star Award- Tim Thomas

After a huge collapse on Monday against the New York Rangers, the Bruins tried to rebound tonight against the other team from New York, the Islanders. Some of the play from Monday's game carried over to the early part of this game because it was a sloppy first half of the period. Boston defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Brad Marchand made two turnovers in their own zone that led to scoring chances. Thank god for Tim Thomas in those situations.

The Bruins fourth line was the key in the first period. Great passing and great puck movement led to shots that produced rebounds. Shawn Thornton was on the right side of one of those rebounds as he put the puck in the net to score his 10th goal of the season. That adds to his season total of 19 points, a career high. Boston had a one goal lead after the first period.

In the second period, both teams had opportunities to score on power play chances. But it was the Islanders who capitalized on the man advantage...and the man disadvantage. Michael Grabner (NYI) scored his 32nd goal of the season on a power play and his 33rd goal of the season on a penalty kill. Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored for Boston in the period as the Bruins took a 3-2 lead into the locker room after the first 40 minutes.

No goals were scored in the third period. However, it was all about the Bruins trying to buckle down and play smart hockey. Tim Thomas made some great stops and the defense kept the blue line very tight. Boston held on to win by a score of 3-2. They now have 101 points with two games left to go in the season.

Gold Star: Shawn Thornton (1 goal, 3 shots on goal, +3 rating)...he played so hard tonight. He still played physical despite the healing cut on the forehead and it looked like he didn't miss a beat.

Black Star: Tomas Kaberle...this was by far his worst game as a Bruin. We didn't see his usual stealer play with the puck and he got beat way too easily on that shorthanded goal.

When Thornton scored his goal tonight, it marked the first time since the 1986-1987 season that Bruins teammates (Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell) recorded double-digit goals and double-digit fights in the same season. Thornton has 10 goals and 14 fighting majors and Campbell has 13 goals and 11 fighting majors. Cam Neely (36 goals, 12 fights) and Nevin Markwart (10 goals, 22 fights) was the duo in the 1986-1987 season. How about that for a stat?

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