With today being Halloween, our home town Bruins did all they could to give their fans some treats to leave the garden with today against the Oilers. I was at the game today, albeit it was a predominantly young crowd since it was a matinee game. From the opening puck drop the Bruins established what I believe to be two of their biggest reasons for today's win, their fore check and the tone of physical play.
The 1st period was pretty even with both teams getting a few scoring chances, and some solid defense and goal tending by both Tuukka Rask and "The Age-less Wonder" Nikolai Khabibulin (it feels like he has been in the league for 20 seasons). The teams went into the first intermission with zeros across the board. Period 2 was a bit lopsided in the Bruins direction. At one point the Bruins were outshooting the Oilers 14-8, and were really carrying the play. Through the entire game the Bruins were led by the line of Blake Wheeler, Danielle Paille, and Vladimir Sobotka. They really started to click in the 2nd period. Despite some solid physical play and the better scoring chances by the Bruins the game was scoreless through the first 40 minutes of play.
Period 3 was basically the Wheeler,Paille,Sobotka show for the Bruins. This line was all over the ice, both defensively and offensively. Roughly 3 minutes into the period their hard work finally paid off. With Vladimir Sobotka applying some great work along the boards behind the Edmonton net and gaining the puck, Blake Wheeler cut to the front of the cage and dropped a trick into the Edmonton pillow case for a 1-0 Bruin lead. This line would terrorize the Oilers again about 5 minutes later. After winning a puck battle in the Bruins zone, Sobotka jumped up for a two on one rush with Wheeler. Blake Wheeler made a nice aerial touch pass to Sobotka who put it past the 'Bulin wall for a 2-0 Bruin lead. That would prove to be the eventual game winner, as Rask made the lead stand up for his team. The Bruins only let 19 shots get through to their young goalie, but he turned them all aside for the shutout.
My Halloween themed 3 stars of the game:
1) Zdeno "Chainsaw Massacre" Chara, was an absolute beast today, he set the tone with his constant physical play and in your face style against Dustin Penner
2) The line of "Psycho" Sobotka, "Poltergeist" Paille, "Blair Witch" Wheeler, they were by far the Bruins most effective line for the full 60 minutes tonight. Scoring both goals, and playing very solid defensivley.
3) Tuukka "Tales from the glove side" Rask, was good when he needed to be, stopped several flurrys and a few breaks by the Oilers to earn the shutout.