That's right, everyone. We have finally made it. Although we all enjoyed a great summer, hockey is back and better than ever.
The 2014-15 NHL season is now upon us. The debut of "Wednesday Night Rivalry" this time around featured your Boston Bruins. They kicked off their season at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Bruins finished the preseason with a 3-2-2 record, showing signs of both rising and sinking as this year will evolve. However, all flashes of hope and glimmer disintegrate once the regular season starts. Although this roster looks vastly different from when the team opened training camp, this team is still good enough to win the Atlantic Division. Here is what the opening-night lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-Ryan Spooner-Matt Fraser
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Craig Cunningham-Bobby Robins
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Tuukka Rask-Niklas Svedberg
Gregory Campbell remained out of the lineup because of a core injury, but we all can expect him to be among this group when he returns. Also, David Krejci was placed on injured reserve to start the season due to an undisclosed injury. He should be back next week.
Now, it is time for game action.
In the first period, the Bruins came out strong. They put pressure on the Flyers and got under their skin. The eagerness to agitate led to a power play opportunity for the Bruins, and Smith capitalized on the chance to put the Bruins up by one. They started getting sloppy in the latter half of the period, but that did not carry over into the second period.
Boston started to put untapped pressure on the Flyers to the point where they could not even carry the puck out of the neutral zone. Lots of hits and a fight thrown in combined to make for some very entertaining hockey.
In the third period, Philly tied the game and completely outplayed the Bruins. However, sometimes a bounce of the puck is all you need. After McQuaid unleashed a shot on goal, the puck bounced to the stick of Kelly for him to tap in. The 2-1 lead would hold up and the Bruins took the full two points on opening night. Soderberg had two assists in this game while Rask finished with 19 saves.
The Bruins will play the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, followed by a Saturday night game against the Washington Capitals.
Gold Star: Reilly Smith...Along with his goal, he set up several of his teammates with great scoring chances. He will earn that new contract this year.
Black Star: Milan Lucic...We know the offensive production was not there in this one, but not a single hit? This better not be a trend.
Game One Box Score