The Boston Bruins started November with three games in four nights, and were hoping to build on the momentum of their 6-2 October. Goaltender Tim Thomas was a large part of that momentum, as he took a 6-0-0 record into Buffalo to start the three game stretch. The Sabres, at 3-7-1, were struggling like Snooki at a spelling bee….could this be a ‘trap’ game?
The Bruins let it be known that they would be falling for no traps, as they jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on the strength of shorthanded goals from Brad Marchand (1) and Patrice Bergeron (2). “Bad Blake” Wheeler added his first of the season, on the strength of a terrific pass from Michael Ryder.
Marchand‘s goal was his first of his career, and the Bruins first shorthanded goal of the season:
Ryder, who seems to have gotten some type of B-12 shot this season, scored in the second to make it 4-0. Ryder’s intensity has been a pleasant surprise this season…but he’s still nauseatingly overpaid at $4 million a season. The Bruins held on for a 5-2 win, as Milan Lucic added an empty netter and Thomas made 33 saves.
Thomas became the first goalie in Boston Bruins franchise history to start the season 7-0-0, and the 2010-11 Boston Bruins team became the first to open the season at 5-0-0 on the road.
Lucic has points in eight of the Bruins’ first nine games, and the comparisons to Cam Neely do not seem as far-fetched as they once did.
- This game was the 1,000th NHL game for local product Mike Grier.
- The Bruins are now 4-0-0 in games in which they are outshot. From the “meaningless stats” file.
- Word has it that Marco Sturm is making strides in getting back into the Bruins’ lineup. Sources say he should be ready to get back on the ice and re-injure himself in 4-6 weeks.
Clarence had to DVR the Bruins next game against the Washington Capitals, as I was giddily attending the Guided By Voices Classic Lineup Reunion show at the Paradise. But having already beaten Washington twice already this young season, the Bruins should have expected a very tough game. Tim Thomas was back in net for the B’s, and the Bruins left him out to dry for most of the first two periods. The B’s were behind 3-0 entering the third period, and coach Claude Julien pulled Thomas and put in Tuukka Rask. From the fast-forward DVR review of the game, the Bruins seemed to be turning the puck over in the neutral zone quite a bit. This was something they had not been doing this season, and an instant-offense team like Washington will take advantage of many of these mistakes. And they did. The Bruins mounted an admirable comeback in the third to make it 3-3, but Rask let in a long snapper by John Carlson, then Alex Ovechkin added an empty-netter to make it a 5-3 final and a win for the Capitals.
Since Rask was in net when the Bruins tied the game at three, he became the goalie of record and took the loss….thus keeping Timmy still undefeated (7-0-0) on the season.
Here’s the highlights of this game courtesy NHL.COM:
CLICK HERE -> http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20102011,2,180&fr=false <- CLICK HERE
The St. Louis Blues came to the Garden leading the NHL’s Central Division with a 7-1-2 record, with ex-Canadien Jaroslav Halak between the pipes. Ex-Bruin Vladimir Sobotka got the Blues out to a 1-0 lead in the first, as the Bruins struggled to beat the omnipresent Halak. Tuukka was in net for the Bruins, and played well (34 saves). Nathan Horton hit more posts than Patches Kennedy driving to a 2:00 a.m. House vote, and Mark Stuart had a great hit on Jay McClement followed by a good bout against B.J. Crombeen:
…but the Bruins seemed a step behind all night, and when they did get their chances, Halak stoned them.
Gregory Campbell scored his first as a Bruin to tie it at one in the third, and give the Bruins a chance to get the two points. The OT period was scoreless, and although the shootout featured Tyler Seguin‘s first shootout goal (a beauty), the Bruins (again) clanked TWO posts and ended up losing the game:
Obviously not the best of stretches for the Bruins, but they still gathered three out of a possible six points over the four night span…far from a disaster .
The B’s have a few days off before they face the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, followed by home games against Montreal and Ottawa on Thursday and Saturday nights respectively.