Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Game 11: A Wild Game

Oh man, those awful puns do get old. 

Aside from the ridiculous title, there really is some decent content here. That is because the Boston Bruins took on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night back at home.

After years of putting together a team the right way (free-agent signings and drafting raw talent), the Wild could easily be considered one of the best teams in the Western Conference. They have strong leadership qualities and excellent skill players at the three positions. This is probably the deepest team in the West, especially if you have Mikko Koivu skating on the second line. This is a year they should be considered a favorite to contend for the Stanley Cup.

As for the Bruins, they had similar aspirations. Although they have taken some early blows this year, the B's will get stronger as the season progresses. This was going to be a tough test against an opponent who has gotten the better of them over the last several seasons (11-2-1). 

The Wild were coming off a physical encounter with the New York Rangers the previous night that limited their full-strength status, so the Bruins were hoping to seize this chance and steal a victory. 

Tuukka Rask opposed Niklas Backstrom in the goaltender matchup. Zach Trotman was back in the lineup as he skated with Matt Bartkowski on the third defensive pairing.

In the first period, the teams were pretty even in terms of shots, scoring chances, and possession of the puck. The Wild, however, were more aggressive on the fore-check. Both teams traded a goal with each other--both were pretty sweet looking--in the opening 20 minutes. Seth Griffith scored for the Bruins on an epic saucer pass from David Krejci. He really is a magician with the puck.

As for the second period, the Bruins had some sloppy moments. Rask saved the day for the B's because they legitimately gave the Wild plenty of chances off turnovers. Regardless, Boston put in another two goals scored by Griffith (2nd of game) and Milan Lucic. 

After that point, the Bruins fell apart. They allowed the Wild to score three unanswered goals in the third period. They racked up over 40 shots on Rask, so some of those are going in sooner than later. He played well throughout the game, but his teammates had their focus come and go on this night. Minnesota won this game by a final score of 4-3. 

The Bruins will be in action on Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Gold Star: Seth Griffith...The kid is finding his stride skating on the top line. With two goals and an assist against a team that has haunted the Bruins, he found the hot hand. 

Black Star: Matt Bartkowski...He continues to get beat out there. He just does not look comfortable, so much so that he got benched in the third period.

Game Eleven Box Score

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