Although matinee hockey isn't always the greatest for the Bruins, they managed to get it done against the Lightning today - in a manner that isn't exactly Bruins typical, either.
+ The power play. I know, right - is this real life? The Bruins succeeded on the power play, on home ice, TWICE in one game? Yes, it's true. Tampa Bay's penalty kill isn't typically a huge weak spot for that team - they kill penalties at an 81.1% rate, which is typically enough to give the Bruins fits. And yet, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin were both able to pad their goal totals on the man advantage.
+ Anton Khudobin looked great in net, although he only saw 22 shots - one goal, Steven Stamkos' from a bad angle, was fluky as heck, and while Alex Killorn's could have been stoppable, that's still very good for our still quite green backup.
+ Brad Marchand's play that lead to the goal was a fantastic one. Instead of complaining or trying to sell the call after getting crosschecked in the Bruins' defensive zone, he instead turned on the jets to skate up with Patrice Bergeron and take the perfect feed from him. Strong work by Marchand - he leads the team with 11 goals in 18 games now.
+ The recovery. After going down 2-0 in the first period - on two goals that were hardly Anton Khudobin's fault - the Bruins roared right back into it in the second. That factor - that refusal to fold when things don't go their way - was a huge part of the Bruins' success during the Stanley Cup run, and will be a major factor when they inevitably make a run this year.
+ Speaking of which - the Bruins are the third-best team in the league right now, with as many as three games in hand on the teams ahead of them - both teams in the West, the Blackhawks and Ducks respectively. While the Blackhawks' record seems ridiculous, they actually only have four more wins than the Bruins, and have played three more games. ANY stutter in the Hawks' game, and the Bruins could actually be in contention for the Presidents' trophy this year. (not that we want that, or anything.)
+ FIRST IN THE EAST! Everyone go cheer for the Penguins today - or at the very least, for the Penguins to absolutely tire the Canadiens out to no end.
- Since it's opposites day up in here apparently - the penalty kill didn't look fantastic today, only killing 6/8 penalties and allowing two goals.
- Milan Lucic really, REALLY needs to calm down. The amount of yapping at the referees he's done lately is unacceptable. He needs to play his game, and the goals will come. It'd be interesting to see Julien pair him with Seguin again, since that seemed to work well against Montreal last time.
- The number of ticky-tack penalties called today was stupid. Not a minus on the part of the Bruins themselves, but yikes.
- Only 26 and a half hours until the Bruins are back at it again against Montreal. Anyone wishing we hadn't had such a weak schedule in February?