Post-game notes: Predators vs. Bruins 2/11/12

Hopefully this win is the start of some consistency in the Bruins’ game. They haven’t won back to back games since early January. It’s going to be a difficult task to find consistency against the New York Rangers but let’s get back to the game at hand.

The Bruins came out very strong and much sharper than they’ve been in the past few games. They were aggressive in the offensive zone and maintained puck possession for long periods of time.

Partice Bergeron opened up the scoring late in the third period with a shorty. If it weren’t for Marchand’s work, it wouldn’t have happened. Shorthanded goals are impressive to begin with but when you go through Shea Weber and Ryan Suter AND Pekka Rinne to get it, well then you’ve got a hard-working team. The B’s were hustling from start to finish.

The momentum was still carrying the Bruins into the second period but unfortunately fizzled out after Adam McQuaid took a stupid and horribly timed roughing penalty. Weber scored with a blast from the blue-line on the Nashville power play, tying the game. The Preds were riding a second period surge and threatened to turn the game around. Lucky for Boston, it remained 1-1 after two periods.

The third period is where most of the scoring opened up. Again, the Bruins came out strong but the Preds weren’t sitting back. Their surge continued. Paille started the third period scoring with an exceptional goal. Hard work behind the net and falling to the ice after flipping it backhand into the mesh. If “Merlot line goals” were in the dictionary you’d see a picture of Paille crashing to the ice, with a scrambling Kevin Klein on his back.

Patric Hornqvist tied it 2-2 with a really goddamn annoying goal. Watching it just made me pissed off. With all that hard work and offensive zone pressure this game is TIED?

Well it got even more annoying when pretty boy Mike Fisher scored late in the third to put the Preds up 3-2. STUPID UGH. It felt like someone spilled a tray of food all over my new yellow shirt. Oh wait.

At this point I thought it was going to be one of those games.

No I’m not talking about blowing a 3-0 lead.

No I’m not talking about when the defense forgets how to play their positions.

And no I’m not talking about when our forwards look like they have lead in their skates.

I’m talking about the games where we nearly double the opposition in shots on goal, win almost all of the face-offs, and STILL. LOSE. You know what I’m talking about.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t one of those games. It was a game where our best player on the ice, Milan Lucic, came up huge with just a minute left in the game. Using his speed and power he notched his 20th goal of the season. FUN FACT: MILAN LUCIC IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN THE NHL WITH 20 GOALS AND 100 PENALTY MINUTES.

Aaand we’re headed to overtime. Going into the overtime period, we were all hoping this wasn’t going to end in a heartbreaking fashion. And we were probably all praying it would go to a shootout, which is strange because last year none of us would’ve wanted that. Plus, we were facing Pekka Rinne. Last season, it was as if the B’s didn’t have enough talent to win in a shootout. It’s basically a skills competition. While we had blessed skaters and stick handlers, it just wasn’t the B’s forte. This year, we’ve got the fire power. We’ve got a nice mix of sneaky snipers and gritty grinders. This year, the Boston Bruins are 6-1 in the shootout. Last year they were 2-6. Clearly it’s a vast improvement.

The game headed to a shootout and Krejci was the first shooter for the B’s, hoping to come up big for the team and score. He was stopped by Rinne but fortunately for us Sergei Kostitsyn was as well. Timmy came up big in the shootout, not allowing Erat to score either. Both Seguin and Bergeron tallied goals in the shootout and helped give the Bruins the win. While Lucic was arguably the best player on the ice during today’s matinee, the Segs-Bergy-Marchy line was undoubtedly the best trio out there.

What we learned: There’s no substitute for effort. No matter your skill, no matter the weaknesses or strengths of the opposition. A win like this came from extraordinary effort and hustle, not extraordinary skill.

Just remember: CARRY THE ENERGY INTO THE NEXT GAME. AND THE GAME AFTER THAT. AND THE GAME AFTER THAT. The lack of consistency has been overwhelmingly aggravating. Find consistency and start rolling.

Now the Bruins have to harness the energy from this game, and use it against the hot, Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers. Their last match-up ended very, very late in overtime and unfortunately went the Rangers’ way. It was a heart-breaker. If the Bruins can bring energy, limit mistakes and play the full sixty they will beat the Rangers. They must find a way to beat Lundqvist and shut them down.



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