Bruins fans got what they wanted to see: Shawn Thornton pounding Matt Cooke. What they didn't see was a strong effort from the hometown team. The B's were booed off the ice at the TD Garden tonight after a 3-0 loss to the Penguins in a lackluster effort that saw them record just 17 shots on goals.
Matt Cooke was only on the ice for 7 seconds before Shawn Thornton challenged him to answer the call for a hit on Marc Savard over a week ago. Thornton unloaded some big rights and kept pounding on Cooke as he tumbled to the ice. Normally, I would say that continuing to throw punches while your opponent is on the ice is a violation of "The Code", but when throw a hit like Cooke did, "The Code" gets thrown right out the window. Then again, Cooke didn't exactly follow "The Code" either when he didn't throw off his visor after it looked like Thornton gestured to Cooke for him to remove their helmets before the fight. Thornton was tagged with an extra 10 minute misconduct, presumably for the extra shots.
Tyler Kennedy gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 8:34 into the game when his wrister beat Tuukka Rask top shelf for his 10th goal of the season.
After the Bruins showed a lack of energy to start the second period, the rough stuff continued when captain Zdeno Chara dropped the gloves with Michael Rupp 11:43 into the second period. Chara didn't really connect on many of the haymakers he threw, but used his reach advantage effectively to get the decision.
Alexei Ponikarovsky made it 2-0 with 14.1 seconds left in the second period just as Steve Begin was exiting the box after taking a lazy kneeing penalty. Ponikarovsky redirected Kris Letang's one-timer past Tuukka Rask for his 21st goal of the season.
The Penguins extended their lead to 3-0 5:14 into the third period on an unassisted goal from Michael Rupp to account for the 3-0 final score.
- The Bruins honored the 1970 Stanley Cup team in a pre-game ceremony and post-game reception. I would love to be a fly on the wall and see the current team at this reception trying to put on a happy face for the fans that paid good money for tickets to the game and then a another $275 to go to the party.
- Aside from the couple of fights, the Bruins didn't show a lot of intensity tonight. They looked like they were coasting at times without any real sense of urgency. I'm glad that Thornton and Chara stepped up and fought tonight, but the Bruins needed more intensity than a few isolated moments of energy.
- I give Cooke credit for dropping the gloves with Thornton. It was kind of bush league that he refused to take off his visor, but at least he stood up and was accountable for his actions...something that I did not think he would do.
- Zdeno Chara recorded his first fighting major of the year. How is that possible? I know he has had some injury concerns, but I thought he had dropped the gloves before this year. There have definitely been a couple of matching minors for roughing, but this was the first 5-minute major.
- It took the Bruins over 9 minutes to record their first shot on goal in the third period. You don't win a lot of games when you put 10 shots on goal in the first 49 minutes.
- Marc-Andre Fleury (17 saves) recorded the shutout after the Bruins failed to test him all night long.
- The last few minutes of this game clearly showed who on this team actually cares. Did you noticed who was all over the ice in the waning minutes long after this game was decided? #22 and #37
- This is not a team that can win in the playoffs...if they even get there.
- The Bruins are off until Sunday when they host the New York Rangers in a game that has huge playoff implications.
The one highlight of the night. Notice the gesture by Shawn Thornton at the 1:05 mark: