This game was all-too-familiar in that the Blueshirts took control, then thought the job was done and sat back. For being such a pit bull of a coach, Torts has no killer instinct. He instead insists his team sit back and cling to whatever lead they build, thus allowing the other team more space to create and mount a comeback. It is a problem that has plagued this team in the last seven or so seasons and it needs to be fixed before they can reach the next level.
But for now, for those counting, this is three wins in a row for the Blueshirts. It is a nice little streak that hopefully continues on Thursday.
*Three games without Brian Boyle, three wins. His absence has allowed Torts to balance the lines better; the poor-skating, oversized softie with bad hands was dragging a second unit down to fourth line status. They weren't creating any energy or any offense, they just staggered around hoping not to give up any goals. Good riddance.
*Kind of refreshing playing against a team that wastes a ton of talent while falling flat on their face while on the power play. Granted, Krejci's goal came seconds after a man advantage finished ... but still, the Bruin and Ranger power plays are remarkably underwhelming to say the least.
*Rick "The Riverboat Gambler" Nash showed off his hot dog hands with two stupefyingly skilled plays that words simply can not do justice. Nash undressed Boston and fed Carl Hagelin (BORK!) from his knees on one and scored a shootout goal for the ages on the other.
*But all was not wonderful with our silky superstar. He took exception to Milan Lucic's physical play and took an inexcusable hooking penalty early in the third period, spurring the home side's rally. As such a big guy, he should have given the shove right back to Lucic, not relied on his stick.
*Or he could have just sucked it up. Arron Asham made his best achievement as a Blueshirt by not getting suckered into a fight he surely would have lost.
*Did Brad Richard$ play? Has he been injured? Top line center has been invisible the last five, six games. His passes have been telegraphed, his shots easily blocked and, on this night, his shootout attempt was laughable.
*Too many men on the ice. AGAIN. This joke is not funny.
*Was really surprised to see a sluggish, soft Bruins team at the outset - they were far from the motivated bunch of bangers who took on Buffalo the other day.
*And, like both of the Bolts goalenders the other day, Tuukka suuckked. Step and Stralman's goals would have been grabbed by even a half-competent goaltender. But you miss 100% of the shots you don't take and all that, so keep chuckin' 'em from the cheap seats boys.
*Hank, for his part, did just fine. But he is not the player he was last season, he doesn't seem to have the same patience and confidence that he had while winning the Vezina. Even his outstanding save on Patrice Bergeron's breakaway looked uncertain, and it knocked him backwards. Plays like that were his bread and butter and this one didn't inspire the same confidence.
*Bergeron is one outstanding hockey player. He is just awesome all over the ice, truly a prototypical two-way player. Every time I watch him I come away impressed.
*Amazing how Boston has one of the iconic logos in all of sport and yet donned such an ugly uniform on this night. It looked like they were wearing black pajamas.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Dan Girardi - one assist.
2-David Krejci - one goal.
1-Rick Nash - one shootout goal and one regulation assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Lucic - Two assists and the physical play that initiated the comeback.
2-Girardi - Just defense to help out Hank. McD and Staal were also stellar but G made some really big blocks.
1-Nash - Skillz.