tclakin

I Was Wrong: Bruins Win 4-1

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm
Mark "Lunchpail" Stuart

Mark "Lunchpail" Stuart

The Garden was absolutely rocking last night, well before the puck dropped in game one of this Round 2 series between the Bruins and Hurricanes. Highlight videos were playing and you could barely hear the pre-game introductions. Then, when Superstar Anthemer Rene Rancourt came out to serenade the sell-out crowd, the roof almost blew off the building.

The Bruins must have felt the energy because they quickly shook off any rust from their close to two week layoff since disposing of the Montreal Canadiens’ cheap shot artists. David Krejci potted the first one on a tip from an Aaron Ward shot, and the Black & Gold were off to the races from there. They’d score 3 more times to the Hurricanes 1, with Marc Savard picking up two of the goals and the suddenly red-hot Michael Ryder adding a beautiful snipe job of his own.

Overall, the Bruins turned in a dominating hockey performance in game 1. They scored, they hit people, and they played suffocating defense. A credit must go out to Zdeno Chara for completely shutting down Canes star Eric Staal who added almost nothing to his team’s effort. If that trend can continue, the Canes are going to be in real trouble.

As for all the layoff talk? The only real rust the Bruins displayed came on their early man advantages. The Power Play looked a bit sloppy but look for coach Claude Julien to work on that today in practice at Ristuccia.

The key to the game came in the form of a coaching move, with Julien re-assembling the number one line of Marc Savard, Phil Kessel and Milan Lucic that carried the Bruins through their torrid regular season stretch. Looking to provide a little offensive pop in the second period, Julien’s strategy opened up the ice for the B’s and resulted in 2 Savard goals.

In game 2, look for the Bruins to come out with a similar strategy – combine offensive muscle with shutdown defense and let Tim Thomas do his thing. And in game 1, Thomas’ thing was stopping almost everything the Canes threw at him and in doing so continuing to cement his status as a top NHL goaltender.

Ladies and gentlemen, your “Game 6 Hard Hat Award Winners” for playing the game like a Bruin should:

First Hat – Mark Stuart. The unheralded but always solid defenseman created havoc out there, throwing his body around and shutting down the Canes before they could muster any kind of offense.

Second Hat – Tim Thomas. 26 saves. One goal allowed. Leadership on the ice. If he doesn’t win the Vezina, they should melt down the trophy and forget about it.

Third Hat – Shawn “Sugar 22” Thornton. Thornton is the perfect Bruin. He flies around the ice at 100 miles per hour, using the body and firing shots from anywhere in the offensive zone whenever he touches the puck. He makes things happen out there and even when he doesn’t, he looks like he’s trying as hard as he possibly can to spark anything, whether it’s a goal, a vicious, flying check or a fight. He’ll be a Hard Hat Award regular, that’s a guarantee.

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