PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 11: Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins reacts after giving up a goal to Arron Asham #45 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (not pictured) during the game at Consol Energy Center on March 11, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Bruins 5-2. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
With 8 games to play after last night's 4-2 victory in Los Angeles, and 7 after tonight's game in Anaheim, I think we've all been looking for signs that this team is going to break out of the months-long funk they've been in. There were some good signs last night.
Tim Thomas made 40 saves on 42 shots, and looks like he's rounding into playoff form again at the right time. When he's on his game, the Bruins can beat anyone. Milan Lucic looked dominant last night. Patrice Bergeron scored for the first time in 13 games, and it was shorthanded. And on top of all that, Rich Peverley is about to come back to the lineup, possibly tonight.
I'm not about to say that this team is "playoff-ready" yet (Nathan Horton is still MIA, and would be a huge help, but who knows what his status is), but they sure look a lot better than they did a little over a week ago.
After the jump, praise for Tim Thomas, an important and decisive win for Ottawa, and the longest national anthems ever.
- 15 consecutive games for Thomas, but he looks stronger and stronger. [WEEI]
- Can this team make a deep playoff run? I say yes. [WEEI]
- Zdeno Chara made a big save near the end of the game during his 1,000th NHL game. Congrats to Big Z. Any team with Thomas and Chara has a chance. [CSNNE]
- Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin toured Rodeo Drive on Friday. Seguin said he felt like he was on "Entourage." Shawn Thornton is Johnny Drama, Marchand is E, Seguin is Vince, and Lucic is Turtle. Maybe Cam Neely as Ari? [CSNNE]
- Anton Khudobin has returned from injury and made 33 saves last night in a 3-2 P-Bruins win. If Turco plays today and looks awful again, could they bring Khudobin up for a game or two and do away with Turco? [Projo]
- Rich Peverley took warmups last night but did not play. He could return tonight, though. If and when he does return the lines are going to be interesting. Either way having Peverley back should be a big help offensively. I think they missed him pretty badly. [ESPN]
- Both candidates for British Columbia Premier voiced their opinion on the Duncan Keith-Daniel Sedin elbow, because it really matters. So much hate. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- Someone tossed a few old Thrashers jerseys on the ice during the Jets-Predators game in Nashville last night. Nashville offered two free tickets to last night's game as part of their "Thrash to Smash" ticket offer to abandoned Atlanta fans. Quite the protest. [Puck Daddy]
- Measha Brueggergosman's national anthems at the Pens-Sens game last night were even longer than her name. It's great for her that she's getting attention for this, but she kinda butchered both anthems. The anthems aren't meant to showcase a no-name singer. [Puck Daddy]
- The Senators were so pumped up by the awesome anthem singing that they went out and hammered Pittsburgh 8-4. They stayed three points back of the Bs and the Rangers were able to increase their Atlantic Division/Eastern Conference lead to three points on the Pens. [TSN]
- Some tasty matchups if the playoffs started today. Pens-Flyers would be a war as usual. Sabres-Rangers would be interesting with the Sabres playing well. Preds-Wings would be fun, though it sucks that Nashville always gets crap matchups. And then you have Canucks-Coyotes... There would be probably be more Bruins fans rooting for Phoenix than actual Yotes fans. [NHL]