Better. Not great. But better.
The Bruins had some jump in the first period, out-chancing Toronto by quite a bit. Toronto pushed back a bit towards the end of the period, but the game headed to the second tied 0-0. Sidenote: someday Nazem Kadri will win more than 3-of-14 faceoffs against Patrice Bergeron. Someday. (Sidenote to the sidenote: Kadri's awesome, no slight on him. Bergeron just owns.)
An atypical pk fail led to a Lupul Toronto goal early in the second, followed by breakaway goal, this time from Kulemin. Grumpy Milan Lucic took the best kind of revenge with a goal from Boston's...third line? I guess? Regardless, it was great. St. Patrice rode to the rescue with a nice goal in the third, and after a fruitless OT, the Bruins were able to pull it off in the shootout.
Here are your fancy stats for perusal, by the by!
- Bartkowski is a super weak link, and the other teams know it. They try to exploit him, and it's going to work.
- Johnson's stupid penalty made me sad. And mad. It made me smad. And it led directly to....
- The magical PK failing us! Boo.
- The Great Line Shuffling Experiment of 2013 lasted a bunch of the game, and produced one goal, but generally speaking it maybe didn't provide the total jump Julien et al were hoping for.
- Finishing. Finishing finishing finishing. SO many chances. SO few goals.
The Getting Better All the Tiiime:
+ I don't know if you've heard, but Tuukka Rask doesn't actually suck. Another stellar third period performance, some more key shootout stops. The problems the Bruins are facing right now could not have less to do with him, he's solid.
+ Good for Lucic. Nice goal, 2 shots, seemed more determined. And pissy, but hey, whatever works.
+ We are really, really lucky to have Patrice Bergeron. He's just the greatest. Between the goal and then the shootout snipe, he basically won this game and my heart.
+ Speaking of Bergy's goal, Hamilton had a pretty solid night - once again, not without mistakes, but his hustle on the Bergy goal was killer, and he played over 20 mins.
+ The optimist in me says this is one to build on. The chances are there, and the effort seemed more consistent tonight. Start here, boys, and work your way back to being the beasts you can be.
Next up: Les Canadiens, who have to get through Sidney Crosby (maybe you've heard of him?) and the Pens first. Big week, kiddos.