The 2011 Boston Bruins were a special team to watch. They got hot at the right time and stood victorious over their opponents en route to a Stanley Cup title.
However, without a certain goaltender, they may not have achieved the success that they did during the conclusion of that season. Does anybody remember the name Tim Thomas?
Well, he plays for a different opponent now. He protects the net of the Florida Panthers, the team that the Bruins were in action against on Thursday night. This was the first of two games the B's played in the state of Florida this week.
The Bruins are all too familiar with the style of Thomas, so this match-up was going to be interesting from the opening puck drop. With Thomas protecting the goal, he gives the Panthers a fighting chance in their division. However, he has been battling a lingering groin injury since the start of the season. Let's see what happened in this one.
First things first, the fans of the Florida Panthers should be ashamed. The arena was so empty that it looked like a morning skate or a scrimmage. It really was a sad sight to see. Anyway, now it is time for the game itself.
In the first two periods, both teams played a very sloppy style of hockey. They each traded scoring chances, but those came as a result of reckless turnovers at both ends of the ice. The Bruins actually held a 2-0 lead at one point, but surrendered it when Florida tied the game with six minutes remaining in the third period. However, Reilly Smith played the role of hero in this one. He netted the game winner on a back-hand shot in front of the net with just seconds remaining.
As for Thomas, he looked decent. He did give up numerous rebounds throughout the game, but we can attribute that to some rust since he has played in only four games in a year and a half span. At the other end, Tuukka Rask stood on his head and came up with some key saves to keep his team in the game.
The B's continue their brief road trip on Saturday night when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gold Star: Dougie Hamilton...He blasted home a power play goal and recorded a team high five shots on net. Also, he looked more confident in the defensive zone.
Black Star: Brad Marchand...What is going on with this guy? He finished with a minus-1 rating and was completely ineffective.
*Adam McQuaid did not play in this game. Instead, all three of the young defensemen suited up for this one.