Saturday, January 10, 2015

Game 43: The Kid Has Arrived

Everyone, do not look now; The Boston Bruins are on a winning streak. Albeit a two-game trend in the right direction, this team needed to start turning things around. 

However, gloating will only get you in trouble and this team is better than that. There is no need to get excited over two games. The only option is to put it behind you, learn from mistakes, and keep on playing hard.

They were searching for three-in-a-row on Saturday afternoon when they traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers for a brief road trip. 

The Flyers are always up for the stiff test that dresses in Black and Gold on a daily/nightly basis. The similarities between these two squads are scary. With that being said, Philly is trending in the opposite direction yet again, but they have a roster full of talented players. Jakub Voracek leads the entire league in points, and Claude Giroux is an All-Star caliber player each and every year. Point blank: Watch out for their top guns. 

For this game, Tuukka Rask returned to protecting the cage for the B's. Loui Eriksson also made his return to the lineup after missing the last game with a hand injury. 

It did not take long for the action to start--Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves with Nick Schultz seven seconds into the game after Schultz put a big hit on Daniel Paille. Due to McQuaid picking up 17 minutes worth of penalty minutes, he missed most of the opening period. As for the actual hockey component, the opening 20 minutes were hard and physical, but had some flashes from an offensive standpoint. B's rookie David Pastrnak recorded his first-career NHL goal on the power play to put his team up by one. 

The thing that stood out early was the eagerness of the Bruins' forecheck and their pressure on the Flyers that forced them to make bad decisions with that puck. That trend continued into the very fast-moving second period. The score remained the same heading into the final 20 minutes. What was interesting is that the coaches constantly switched up the lines to keep Philadelphia off guard. The third period was all Boston. Pastrnak popped in another tally (he is making a strong case to stay with the team this year) and Chris Kelly added a short-handed goal. For what it is worth, Zdeno Chara recorded two assists in this game. The Bruins smothered the Flyers, making it difficult to generate any quality scoring chance. Layers on defense and excellent goaltending down the stretch preserved the 3-1 victory for Boston. #threeinarow

The Bruins will return to the TD Garden next Tuesday to begin a three-game homestand. Up first will be the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask...He stopped 24 shots on 25 attempts in a game where he needed to come up big. Overall, a solid performance in net. 

Black Star: Reilly Smith...It seemed that he benefited the least from the line juggling, but he has not looked great over the last few games. He needs to start scoring goals again.

Game Forty-Three Box Score

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