Friday, November 15, 2013

Games 18-19: Those Back-To-Backs Always Get You

Over the years, the Boston Bruins have developed a reputation around the NHL. Some folks will look at them and see a tough, rugged, united team who will stick up for each other. Critics of the team will compare them to the likes of a gang. 

Regardless of your opinion, they are one of the best teams in the league. This past week, they altered the careers of two different individuals. The Florida Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen immediately after their loss to the Bruins. More recently, Steven Stamkos broke his leg Monday afternoon against the B's. 

Coincidence? Definitely. The Bruins are not "career killers" ..... at least not intentionally. 

There were certainly more important things to take care of on the ice for Boston the rest of the week. They ended their five-game homestand on Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nathan Horton did not play in this game for Columbus, but he skated for the first time this week since his shoulder surgery. He is getting closer. 

Anyway, let's discuss the game. Matt Bartkowski took the place of Adam McQuaid back on the blue line in this game since McQuaid is still dealing with a nagging injury. Also, Chad Johnson made his TD Garden debut in net for the Bruins. He definitely came up with some huge stops, 32 of them to be exact.

At the end of the night, the B's sealed the two points in overtime on a breakaway goal from Milan Lucic. He has already surpassed his season total in goals from last season and we are only 19 games into the 2013-14 season. He is having a great start to the year. Boston ended its homestand with a 4-0-1 record.

The Bruins finished up the week by traveling up to Ottawa to take on the Senators in their first meeting of the season. These two teams will be battling for Atlantic Division supremacy all year long and this game would go a long way in establishing early control for that top spot. 

As for this one, the game got away from the Bruins. The more the game progressed, the worse the B's played and the Senators capitalized on some key turnovers. After holding a 2-0 lead, Boston fell 4-2 to Ottawa.

The Bruins will play their next game on Monday night when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Gold Star: Milan Lucic...He strung together two good games during this stretch and he looks poised to lead this team in goals this year.

Black Star: Reilly Smith...He has become a turnover machine. His struggles continue to be evident in the defensive zone, something that was not advertised when it came to his play. 

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