The Bruins and the Devils met for the final time this season, and right off the bat things seemed to be going the Bruins way. Shots aplenty, Kinkaid being forced to make all sorts of difficult saves. Marchand and Bergeron were working the NJ players over. Physicality abounded as the two sides tried to get a feel for each other's strategies (or at least in New Jersey's case, curl up and hope not to die).
And then Patrice Bergeron high sticked Reid Boucher. And the Bruins surrendered the first goal on the Penalty Kill as Travis Zajac managed to find a hole in the Boston Defense and caught Rask off guard.
The Bruins would get right back to it by hurling all sorts of shots at Kinkaid, who stood strong after said barrage, ending the Period with a massive shot advantage but not a score advantage.
Stop me if you've heard this one.
Things got better! More shots! More (well, almost) physicality! Lots of jump in the Bruins skates! Everyone playing like it meant something! And then Brad Marchand continued his fantastic year from a great breakout by putting one past Kinkaid in spectacular fashion! 1-1!
The Bruins had all sorts of speed afterwords, demanding to get the third goal of the night and demanding it in the way of 13 shots in one period to NJ's 4. New Jersey seemed to be having a lot of trouble getting anything going tonight and the shot sheet reflects that. The period ended 1-1, but with a lot of hope that things would get even better in the third with a solid finish.
Stop me if you heard this one.
The Devils put 3 shots on goal all period.
One of them was a shot on the power play from Reid Boucher from Travis Zajac.
Rask didn't have a prayer. 2-1 Devils.
The Bruins would spend the next 15 minutes trying and failing to tie up the game as they threw damn near everything at Kinkaid and STILL he didn't surrender a goal. They tried everything. EVERYTHING. And it still didn't work. The game ended with Marchand taking another rock stupid penalty.
So in short, the Bruins, needing points, went into a game where they could reasonably assume they could GET points and be in good shape for a little while, surrendered the first goal, got one back, took a bunch of dumb penalties they had to kill off, took one obscenely stupid penalty because Chara is HEWJ, and lost on the resulting goal, in spite of hammering the opposing goaltender in shots. And now they don't have those two points and have to face two of the toughest teams in the league on the road and pray one of them is having an off night while Detroit .
Like goddamn near every. other. night. like it.
STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS BEFORE.
The Bruins play the St. Louis Blues on Friday at 8pm.
- Loui as a center didn't work. At all. Call up Czarnik or Khokhlachev. If nothing else maybe we get a happy surprise or someone whose actually played center recently.
- As of this writing the Bruins are still ONE POINT ahead of Detroit, which means they get to keep 3rd in the Atlantic. The battle is now firmly uphill.
- In theory it's a good night when the worst of your team is playing at around 52% CF%. The Devils got positively creamed possession wise.
- The Chara penalty was absolutely weak as hell. Boarding is a serious penalty and everything and should be treated as such, but I don't think Smith-Pelly's liable to buckle that quickly, even against a 6'8 manbeast.
- Marchand is absolutely getting the money Loui thought he was gonna be able to get. And we still didn't move him at the deadline.
- The hockey gods are still Old Testament as hell. And we keep looking back at the destruction of Gamorrah.
- HOW DOES A TEAM PUT 40 SHOTS ON A GOALTENDER AND LOSE!?
- HOW DO YOU ONLY GIVE UP 15 SHOTS AND LOSE!?
See you Friday.