Thursday, April 4, 2013

Game 36: What Goaltender Controversy?

There was definitely a new look and a new feel to the Boston Bruins just one day removed from the NHL trade deadline. With the new pieces in place and the roster set for the rest of the season (once the injured players return), the time has come for Boston to go on a run through the Eastern Conference. 

The Bruins were back in action on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils. Hopefully, the Black and Gold continued their momentum against a team fighting for their playoff lives.

We knew that Jaromir Jagr and Kaspars Daugavins joined the Bruins earlier this week, but on Wednesday the Bruins only made a depth move at the deadline. They traded a seventh-round pick in 2014 to the St. Louis Blues for veteran defenseman Wade Redden, a 35-year-old blue liner who will provide leadership and grit in the defensive zone. This could be considered a letdown for Bruins fans, but having depth on the team is always a good thing. 

After being involved in the Tuesday pregame skate, Daugavins made his Bruins debut on Thursday night along with Jagr, the 2013 version of Mark Recchi for this team. Tyler Seguin slid over to his natural center position and he was flanked by Jagr and Brad Marchand. As for Daugavins, he skated on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jay Pandolfo.

Tuukka Rask was back in goal for the Bruins as he opposed Martin Brodeur of the Devils. Patrice Bergeron did not skate in this game due to the fact that he had been diagnosed with a moderate concussion. His return remains unknown, but this time next week should be the target for his return. 

After a scoreless first period, the Bruins opened up the scoring in the second period with an early goal. Guess who? Yup, Jagr recorded his first goal as a Bruin after taking a puck off his skate and it slid right underneath Brodeur. It sounds worse than what it actually was though. He fought hard for the ice in front of the net and he ended up being in the perfect position.

The Devils piled up the better scoring chances, including ringing two posts. They outshot the Bruins 28-19 through the first two periods, but Rask came up with some timely saves to keep the momentum on Boston's side. 

In the third period, the Bruins became sloppy with the puck. All of their turnovers led to scoring chances and puck possession by the Devils. In the end, Rask stood on his head and the defense held strong to preserve the 1-0 home victory.

The one aspect from this game that the Bruins struggled with was the face-offs. New Jersey won the battle at the face-off dot (28-23), but that can be attributed to the absence of Bergeron.

The Bruins will be on the road Saturday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask...He finished with 40 saves and posted his third shutout of the season. What goaltender controversy?

Black Star: Tyler Seguin...He was not terrible at the center position in this game, but finishing only 25% from the dot is an issue that needs to be fixed. 

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