This season 2 goals would not usually be enough to come away with a W.
But tonight a nasty Brad Marchand penalty shot goal and a Dominic Moore seeing eye snipe on the PK were the only tallies the Bruins would need tonight.
Because Tuukka Rask was once again incredible.
I don’t know how long Rask can keep up this level of play but let’s just look and see how huge he’s come up.
.961 Save Percentage
You can’t underestimate the impact that Rask has had on this team this season. Without him between the pipes they have been a horror show, getting smoked by a combined 18 goals in losses. Anton Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre gamely tried to fill Rask’s pads but replacement level goal tending mixed with this teams still raw and unsteady defense was a recipe for disaster. The 4 losses were a glimpse of what this team would look like without Vezina caliber goalkeeping and it was anything but pretty.
Tonight against a Panthers team that dominated much of the action tonight, Rask turned away 33 of 34 shots and only gave up a goal on a unmarked Denis Malgin who labeled a shot from the slot. This game could have been over in the 1st period where the Bruins were obviously outplayed and out shot 13-3. A soft goal in that first frame and we may be breaking down another disappointing loss. But Rask was up to the task, as he has been all season, and gave this clearly imperfect Bruins team the margin of error they need ed for the win.
And to think that Rask has done all this while dealing with some kind of nagging injury. We may never figure out what kind of injuy “General Soreness” actually is but right now it doesn’t seem to be phasing Tuukka one bit when he’s on the ice.
The Good: I don’t care that the B’s were only up 1 late when Shane Harper ran Torey Krug. I LOVED Adam McQuaid grabbing Harper and giving him the 5 knuckle shuffle. This is the kind of instant, violent response that this team has lacked for years now and it should shock no one that McQuaid was the one doing it. There are plenty of points to be had this season. The Bruins D is thin as it is. This team can’t afford to let their opponents run the guys they have back there without paying for it.
The Bad: Jimmy Hayes. No points. Not much jam. A fight where he was hanging on for dear life against Derek McKenzie, who he had 6 inches and 35 pounds on. All set with Dark Matter. Call up Randell and see what it looks like when a hungry kid plays a big body game.
The Ugly: The Bruins Power Play. It’s not good people. Rushed chances. forced passes. Sloppy zone entries. Let’s hope this is just a product of Backes being out and Krejci still not being himself. Because if this isn’t fixed soon, the