Post-game notes: Flyers vs. Bruins 3/17/12

The Bruins have an ugly record in matinee’s this season (and while wearing their 3rd jerseys). They came into this game donning some heinous green St. Paddy’s Day jerseys and a 4-7-2 record in afternoon games.

2 of those wins came against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Now let’s make that 3 out of the 5. Guess you could say we “have their number” in matinees this year even if I hate saying that.

Before I get this whole thing started let me just throw something out there:

I like to say the Bruins play their best hockey with their backs against the wall, when everything is on the brink of absolute disaster, that’s when they pull through. I had actually been saying this over the last few horrendous games “they play best when everything goes wrong, they’ll turn it around” but I’ll admit I gave up because, well, I gave up on the team. I was starting to believe the season was actually over and there was always next year. And while I wouldn’t say the faith is completely restored, there is definitely hope. But let me get to the point, here’s my theory: the warnings of the Senators catching up to the B’s and possibly stealing the Northeast Division simply wasn’t enough to get Boston going again. Ottawa had to actually leapfrog them and send them to seventh place for a wake-up call to occur. When Brad Marchand spoke those words “wake-up call” before the game, I believed in them. There was some glimmer of hope there and I believed his words.

Another note: When the B’s aren’t doing too hot, I hate all of those stupid statistics that say “the Bruins are blah blah and blah when so and so drop the gloves” and Tim Thomas is “blah blah and blah against Philly in the last blah match-ups.” Sometimes those numbers are aggravating and completely irrelevant. Let’s just think about the NOW. Who cares about what our record is when there’s a fight and who cares about what Timmy’s record is against Philadelphia because right now he’d let in a Joe Corvo goal it’s that bad. Lucky for us Thomas had a very solid performance today. And lucky for us, Corvo didn’t play.

Now let’s get down to business.

Chris Kelly tallied his 17th goal of the season (on the 17th lol!) and opened up the scoring for the B’s a little over six minutes into the first. We scored first. That’s a huge step right there. Later in the period, some great work by the reunited Field Trip Line lead to a Tyler Seguin goal setup by Patrice Bergeron. Seguin tallied his 25th of the season, forcing the puck past a very sharp Ilya Bryzgalov. Note: Bryzgalov was 7-0-0 in his last 7 starts with a .99 goals against average. Rather than making a suck-bag goaltender look like a god, we made a very hot tendy look not so hot which is another big step.

Seeing the boys go back to the locker room with a 2-0 lead after the first was one of the best feelings Bruins fans have had in a while.

Unfortunately, Matt Read scored a power-play goal about half way through the second and Jakub Voracek scored a late goal in the third to knot the game up at 2. Something that I noticed as we headed into overtime: it was deflating to see Philadelphia catch up, but it didn’t feel like we had “blown” a 2-0 lead. Ference said something similar post-game (happy birthday, Captain Planet.) It felt like a hard-fought game between two very, very talented teams that really came down to the wire in the end.

I found myself breathing a little sigh of relief that we were now tied with Ottawa and had the season series advantage therefore giving us the division back, briefly. That’s not really the right way to go about it but I can’t deny that I was feeling a little bit better.

Heading into the shootout, I was confident in our shooters but slightly concerned about Tim Thomas. He played very solid in the game, not completely inhuman, but very solid. The Bruins attacked Mr. Universe similarly with each shooter. Krejci, Seguin, and Bergeron all notched goals in the shootout, coming in with speed and beating Bryz each time. Like I had sort of expected (that sounds mean, I’m sorry) Tim Thomas gave up goals to Philly’s first two shooters, Matt Read and Claude Giroux. But how can I really complain? Both extremely talented men.

Timmy’s shining moment came right after Bergeron’s game-winner. He stoned Danny Briere, did a double first pump and looked toward the heavens. It was one of the better wins of the season, in my opinion. It just felt good. There’s no other way to describe it. Not a single mouth on the bench was closed, with the exception of Handsome Ralph. Everyone looked like :D. Even Chia had a little celly up in the press-box.

It was a feel-good win for everyone.

What we learned: Despite injuries, despite their recent struggles, the Bruins are more than capable of putting together a win against a strong team. The Bruins looked good today. They showed glimmers of the real Boston Bruins. They out-hit, out-shot and out-face-off’d (?) the Flyers. There was so much right about that win.

Just remember: The Bruins must keep up this play. They have to find consistency. It’s more important than ever for the Bruins to string together wins, especially after Ottawa lost to Toronto tonight (fuck yeah). It is key to collect as many points as possible and pull away from Ottawa. I’m predicting some back and forth between these two teams over this final stretch of the season.

Oh and Shawn Thornton signed a two-year extension.

Happy St. Paddy’s day, Bahston!

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