The NHL is the only league out of the four major sporting leagues here in the United States that actually knows how to do things right.
With all due respect to the other leagues, hockey is the one sport that takes the needs of the players and everyone else involved in the sport into consideration for major holidays. The entire NHL will go on a three-day Christmas break starting on Tuesday to enjoy time with family, friends, and loved ones.
However, business needed to be taken care of before that could happen.
The Boston Bruins still had one more game to play before they can enjoy their mini vacation. They were in action on Monday night against the Nashville Predators.
The Predators like to play a heavy game that they balance with some of their skill players. With a stud on defense in Shea Weber, this was not going to be easy for the Bruins. One thing that would play in their favor was that Nashville had to send out a rookie goaltender (Carter Hutton) in place of injured netminder Pekka Rinne.
Brad Marchand, who was dinged up in the last game, traveled with the team and skated in this game. Also, Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup after missing the last several weeks with a groin injury. That did not stop him from dropping the gloves with Eric Nystrom (NSH) for a spirited fight in his first game back.
After three goals and a forced goalie change, the Bruins dominated the opening 20 minutes. They started to get a little sloppy with the puck towards the end of the first period, but they looked to clean that up in the second period.
The Predators made things slightly interesting late in the second period and early in the third period by beating Tuukka Rask with a pair of goals by Craig Smith. As it turned out, that would not be enough on this night.
The Bruins went on to win this game by a score of 6-2. Matt Fraser was one of the goal scorers, which meant that was his first goal as a member of the Black and Gold. Jarome Iginla had two goals in this one.
The Bruins will play their next game on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Gold Star: Ryan Spooner...This has been long overdue. Ever since his call-up, he has played incredible two-way hockey and has shown great play-making abilities. With three assists and being solid at the face-off dot in this game, this kid will be something special.
Black Star: Milan Lucic...This was a game where he was anticipated to make some sort of impact. Not so much.