Post-game notes: Bruins vs. Rangers 1/19/13

Crashing the Net is back!

More importantly, NHL hockey has returned.

Most importantly, the Boston Bruins served the New York Rangers a big plate of whoop ass in their home and season opener tonight. What better way to kick off the first game of the season than with an impressive win over a dominant force in the Eastern Conference?

Last season, the Bruins went 1-2-1 against the Rangers, winning the last match up by a score of 2-1. In fact, 17 of the last 21 games between Boston and New York have been decided by one goal. The Rangers have one of the strongest defensive cores in the league, and Henrik Lundqvist had not made it easy for Boston. Last year, Hank boasted a 1.73 GAA and a .946 save percentage against the B’s.

Welp, let’s just sweep those numbers under the rug for the rest of this post-game because the Bruins grabbed a 2 goal win over the Rangers tonight.

The Bruins opened up the scoring with a statement of a goal by the HuLK line. Slow start? MY ASS. Milan “Big Daddy” Lucic came out with mid-season grit a thirst for goals right from the get-go. In the middle of a change, Krejci came into the attacking zone quick, putting the puck on net with full intentions of getting a rebound out of it. And it did just that. Lucic tapped in the rebound with the first Bruins goal of the season. It’s also important to note that Krejci is now just 4 assists away from 200 career assists.

In the second period, the B’s went up 2-0 on a redirected goal from none other than DANIEL FUCKING PAILLE. Yeah, that’s right. Pie scored on the infamous Henrik Lundqvist. It happened.

Now, let me just take this opportunity to say that Daniel Paille does in fact have more goals than Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron COMBINED this season.

In all honesty though, Paille had a fantastic game. He was always in the right spot, he imposed himself on the opponent better than a lot of the guys on the ice and brought an energy to the game that was palpable.

Later in the second Brad Richards split the deficit, putting up his first goal of the year. But the Bruins responded in the third with a goal from our birthday boy, Johnny Boychuk (HAPPY 29TH YA BIG LUG!)

As far as goaltending goes, there was a whirl of mixed feelings surrounding Tuukka Rask and his return to the position of starting goaltender going into the season. Some hyped him up to the point of great concern (for me at least) and others questioned his ability of stepping up to the task. Let us not forget that Rask was the starting goaltender not too long ago. It may only be the first game, but I think it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask is more than ready to handle this starting job. Tuukka was quick and comfortable, allowing only 1 goal on 21 shots. After the game, Rask did credit his teammates for his strong performance.

“I felt good throughout the game,” he told Matt Kalman of NHL.com. “The guys made my job so easy because I saw almost everything.”

Chris Bourque became the fifth father-son combination in team history to don the spoked B. The highlight of Bourque’s night was his blown opportunity of potting an empty netter and sealing the deal for the B’s. I’d like to think the reasoning for it is because he didn’t want his first goal with Boston to be one without a goaltender protecting the net. But this kid is fast and feisty. I expect him to fit in much better in Boston than he did with Washington.

Speaking of firsts, tonight 19-year-old Dougie Hamilton started in his first NHL game. The best way to recap his performance can be summed up with some words of wisdom from one of CTN’s writers:

You know how I know Dougie played well? I barely noticed him.” – Andrea

While Hamilton didn’t see a lot of time on the ice, he seemed to fit into the system nicely.

OH AND THERE WERE TWO FIGHTS

WITH BLOOD

*Credit to the fabulous Judy for this edited photo!

The feeling I got from Zdeno Chara upon hearing him speak to Naoko before the game was that he was relaxed (not that I should expect anything less from the B’s captain). The team exuded confidence and determination. They made nothing easy for the Rangers and seemed genuinely happy about being back on the TD Garden ice.

What we learned: Milan Lucic isn’t fat, the Bruins are ready to roll, and the goaltending situation is FINE JOE HAGGERTY SHUT UP

Just remember: It’s still only the first game of the season. This condensed schedule may turn out to work in the favor of a team like the Bruins, a team with an immense amount of depth. But anything can happen. The Bruins must continue to play at the level they did in this game. They must continue to shut down opponents, don’t let the opposition play their game. If the Bruins can keep this up, they have a bright season ahead of them.

-Ariana

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