After a stagnant first period and a moderately better second, the Bruins rallied in the third period to beat the hated Habs. Tyler Seguin got his first legitimate goal of the season to tie it, and David Krejci potted the go-ahead goal that would inevitably be the game winner. Let's break it down.
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+ No nonsense. This was just good quality hockey. Aside from a few stupid, ticky-tack penalties and one yapping match between Adam McQuaid and Brandon Prust, this game had none of the tomfoolery that Bruins-Habs games are usually known for - and in this case, it was great.
+ The Bruins have allowed just one goal since that loss to Buffalo. They blocked 24 shots to the Habs' 12, tonight, and while obviously Seidenberg accounts for a good portion of those, there were nine Bruins with two blocked shots or more tonight, compared to the Habs' three. There were a few significant defensive breakdowns. Three stand out particularly: Plekanec had two where he just flat beat out Dennis Seidenberg, and Lars Eller beat Johnny Boychuk cleanly for his breakaway, but Tuukka Rask had a good game and some good luck. Plekanec flubbed one of his attempts pretty badly.
+ Remember that Habs line we looked at in the preview? Claude got Chara and Boychuk out against the Prust-Galchenyuk-Gallagher line for big minutes and completely shut that line down. Excellent.
+ The PK with Chris Kelly in the box late in the game. Without Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille AND Chris Kelly, the PK should have been weakened; they managed to hold off Montreal well enough in the late minutes.
+ The Lucic-Seguin-Krejci line. Seguin's dish to Lucic on Krejci's goal was incredible; it'd be really interesting to see if the Bruins try out David Krejci on the wing going forward, or if they do something different where the center position on that line is fluid as the game progresses or based on who's carrying the puck out of the zone. Remember when people were saying, right after Marc Savard got injured, that no way could Krejci be a 1C? Nice to see him pretty consistently proving people wrong this season. He has three goals and six assists for nine points in nine games - more than anyone else on the team.
+ Ryan Spooner was quite serviceable in his first game. He put two good shots on goal, although only one made it through to Carey Price - but he lost all four faceoffs he took. I hope that when either Marchand or Paille returns, he continues to get a shot in the lineup.
+ Tuukka Rask made some insanely timely saves tonight; he earned every bit of that first star.
- Milan Lucic what is with the dumb penalties. Yes, the Canadiens are pesky and the calls in Montreal tend to swing the Habs' way...but ticky-tack penalties late in the game are not helpful.
- Not having Brad Marchand and Daniel Paille...but that's a given.
- Some of those defensive breakdowns were really really particularly not great.
- The entire first period....let's pretend it didn't happen.
- PK Subban. Everything about PK Subban. I still want him to be a Bruin. Even his goal went in off a Bruin's stick. Come play here in two years, PK.
Overall, pretty good game to watch tonight and the Bruins are first in the East. Feels good. Bruins are back at it Saturday against Tampa Bay.