Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Games 68-69: Ten

Before we get to the actual games that need to be discussed, something else needs to be stated. The third line? Holy smokes. 

The line of Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson has been on point and very consistent. Sure, the numbers are not "off the charts," but if you just do the simple eye test, they are playing solid in all three zones and have finally solidified the depth of the Boston Bruins.

It is a shame that Eriksson had to suffer those concussions for him to get bumped down to that line, but it was a blessing in disguise. Not one fan will say "thank you" to John Scott or Brooks Orpik for it, though. Plus, Soderberg plays best at center and Kelly can play tight on the wing. 

Perfect. All four lines are rolling.

They needed all four lines rolling this week because they had two back-to-back sets in seven days. On Monday night, the B's took on the Minnesota Wild in what was their first meeting of the season. Yes, it is mid-March.

The Wild are a good team with some great American-bred skill in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Those two alone can be enough to change a game plan. For the B's, Johnny Boychuk was ruled out for both games due to a lower-body injury. Corey Potter made his B's debut in Tuesday's game. 

With the Wild controlling much of the puck through the first two periods, the Bruins still had a leg up on their competition. The third period was all Boston. And guess what? We had a Reilly Smith sighting! He scored the third goal for the Bruins, his first goal since January 28. Tuukka Rask was superb in net, and Jarome Iginla had a pair of goals as well, all positive things that played in favor of Boston. The Bruins finally ended their skid against Minnesota by securing the 4-1 victory. #ninegamestreak

The B's were right back in action on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils. This was the first game of a three-game road trip.

It turns out that this one was not a close contest either. The Devils, known for their sluggish style of play and yawn-inducing boredom, actually gave the Bruins an entertaining game. However, the B's would not be denied their #tengamestreak. The goals came from three different lines and even through special teams as they knocked off the Devils by a score of 4-2. Iginla, who scored a pair on this night as well, now leads the team with 26 goals. 

The Bruins will head out west for games against the Colorado Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes later this week.

Gold Star: Jarome Iginla...He has posted eight goals during his six-game point streak. The aging seems to be ageless. What a perfect fit he has turned out to be for this team. 

Black Star: Dougie Hamilton...Aside from the careless penalties, he just did not seem like himself throughout these two games.

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