Thanks to the Bettman point, the Bruins went on the road for 3 games, came away with only one victory, but took 4 out of a possible 6 points in Western Canada.
A sloppy game against the Oilers, an entertaining but frustrating game against the Flames, followed by one of the best 60 minute efforts we’ve seen from the Boston Bruins in 2.5 seasons in Vancouver. As it stands now, the Bruins are the first Wild Card team with a game or games in hand on everyone in the East. It is a thin margin, but the B’s have played their way into some control over their position in the standings with a huge test tonight against Nashville looming.
-Brandon Prust. Remember that time he glorified the “code” on the Players Tribune? Apparently the code goes out the window when you’re chasing a pest who happens to be absolutely owning your hockey club in about every measurable way. Perhaps this is karma heading back to Marchand for all of his bush league antics, or to the Bruins for all of Lucic’s cup-checks over the years, but my goodness $5,000 for a solid spear at the twig and giggleberries? Not exactly a deterrent guys. If you’re a neanderthal like me (and I think the Rays Army crew in general) you’re going to want to tune in to the next B’s v. Canucks game at the Garden January 21st at 7 p.m.
-Tuukka Rask. I don’t want to jinx it or pile on because the guys at NESN have been losing their shit over his play lately, but he’s clearly figured something out. Jack talked on the broadcast about extra work directing rebounds away from the danger areas, and swallowing pucks that are normally guaranteed rebounds. When Tuukka is in the zone he’s on his angles, he’s got elite rebound control, or he’s starting the breakout by intentionally kicking out a rebound toward a winger, it’s fun watching him when he’s like this.
-Brad Marchand. He’s having a nice little year for himself, 4th on the team in points, first in goals with 13, and only a couple run ins with player safety. As electric as their powerplay has been, Marchand has only 3 on the man advantage (but 3 additional points shorthanded because he’s a boss).
-Maintenance Day, or Message Sending Day? Saturday’s game saw Claude remove Dennis Seidenberg and Colin Miller from the lineup and replaced them with Kevan Miller and Joe Morrow. Julien termed it a maintenance day, but could it have also been a benching? Tough to get benched for Kevan Miller, whoever you are, so let’s see if that lights a fire in either Seidenberg and/or C. Miller. (Note: this was added by Shinnick). Regardless, it seemed to light a fire in the B’s who played really well in the second night of a back-to-back, which hasn’t exactly been their strong suit over the years.
A tough road ahead for Boston this week though, with Nashville at home, Montreal in Montreal, and then the Panthers at home on Saturday.