Life Without Chara, Round 2: Bruins beat Ottawa 5-2

Despite a large number of turnovers and some sloppy neutral zone play, the Bruins managed to beat the Ottawa Senators about as soundly as they ever do. Down to just five defensemen in the third period, Tim Thomas stood tall in net for the black and gold, making 47 saves on 49 shots.

If you ignored the play of the team in front of him, Thomas' performance brought to mind game 2 against the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year. He's definitely as good as ever, with the 3-goal performance against Columbus solidly in the past.

Speaking of the Flyers, there's 24/7 to watch, so we're going to do this recap in my favorite format: bullet points.

The good:

  • Jack Edwards brought up a very good point (stop laughing) tonight before the game when he noted that just about any other third line in hockey these days is a mismatch against Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, and Benoit Pouliot. So does the line prove him wrong after saying that? Not likely. Peverley notched his sixth goal and 15th assist of the season, his assist coming on Chris Kelly's goal. Pouliot, while not managing any points, still added a +2 to his rating.
  • Andrew Ference quietly had a great game, with two assists and a +3 rating.
  • Tim Thomas. 47 saves on 49 shots tonight puts his Sv% at third in the league behind #1 Brian Elliott and #2....our own Tuukka Rask. Not too shabby.
  • Milan Lucic's fight against Matt Carkner was pretty nice.
  • The Bruins' penalty kill was solid tonight despite the absence of Gregory Campbell and Zdeno Chara for the second night in a row.
  • Daniel Paille. I have no idea how his two breakaway goals didn't merit one of the night's three stars, but wow, talk about unusual.
The bad:
  • Good gravy, the TURNOVERS. There was a minute sequence in the second period where there were about eight of them in a row, luckily including a misfired SOG from Ottawa and a few turnovers on their side as well. Less sloppy play is necessary, and the return of Chara on Saturday (fingers crossed) should help with that.
  • It's great that the Bruins' PK is so great, but having to kill a five-minute-major is never a good thing. Luckily, they managed.
  • Letting 49 shots through to Tim Thomas. Also not the greatest, but without Chara and McQuaid, it's...a good thing he's Tim Thomas.
The Ugly:
  • McQuaid's hit on Nick Foligno. While he received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, the knee-on-knee action might warrant a call from Shanny. However, hopefully since it was a stupid play without intent to injure, and since McQuaid has no prior history, here's hoping he gets off with a slap on the wrist and not a suspension.
Good night, it's 24/7 time.
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