You’d be forgiven if your heart sank into your stomach for the first half of the first period of this game. It was not a pleasant sight, but fortunately, the Bruins pulled out the stops in the last 40 minutes and took another win. 15 straight games with a point, and plenty of good to take away... from the SECOND half of this game.
Some quick passing and back-and-forth play led this off, but it wasn’t the Bruins executing early. Brandon Carlo needed a bit more warmup, as he put a soft pass out for Michael Dal Colle to collect and center for a shot on net. Anton Khudobin was forced to be sharp early, as the Islanders landed the first five shots of the game.
Carlo then did another terrible thing, and the Isles got on the board first. 0-1, bad guys.
Too many attempted passes from the Bruins’ defense ended up dying along the defensive side boards, leaving opportunities open for the Islanders.
With just under 7 minutes to play, Brad Marchand collected a loose puck along the boards at center ice, and fed a wide-open Patrice Bergeron in the high slot. The Saint did not miss, and tied the game at 1!
The latter part of this period was all Boston, with the Islanders going over five minutes without putting a shot on net. Khudobin closed out the period with a few stoppages for faceoffs to calm things down and make sure they went to the locker room in a tie.
Another slow start for the Bruins didn’t look great, but fortunately, they got their turds in a herd in short order. As they took over the neutral zone, chances and offensive zone faceoffs became more plentiful, and off of a lost draw by David Krejci, Ryan Spooner cleans up with a rando backhand to put the B’s up, 2-1.
A few minutes later, with the B’s on the power play, Torey Krug unloaded a rafter-scratcher and Bergeron cleaned up the rebound. 3-1, Bruins!
The rest of this period included NYI scrambling, the Bruins creating neutral zone turnovers, and a Carlo penalty to wrap it up. GREAT JOB BRANDON.
Starting on the PK wasn’t easy; Zdeno Chara blocked a shot near the end of Carlo’s penalty and it stung the hulking defenseman, who iced himself down on the bench. No blood, no foul, at least in his case. He’d play nearly all of the PK time in this period and though he looked relatively limited in TOI, ten of his 25+ minutes were in this period.
At any rate, it didn’t take long for Bergeron to close out the hat trick. 4-1 game, with plenty of time to play.
John Tavares took advantage with a bit of time left, but it was too little, too late. Marchand was able to ice the game in the final moments with an empty-netter, and that was all she wrote.
5-2, Final Score, despite the fact that I decided to tweet not one but TWO different, incorrect scores. You may have my head if you wish, but a Win is a WIN.
- Bergeron is a god.
- You could tell by ice-time charts that Bruce Cassidy tried to roll younger lines in the beginning of this game, only to yield a mediocre start and a 1-1 tie. He didn’t continue that error, and it’s plain to see that he’s trying to teach the kids some lessons by providing them with the pressure that comes with playing well for long stretches. You can NEVER let up.
- Once again, Khudobin provided a stellar effort and another win while allowing Tuukka to get some rest. It’s needed at any point in the season, especially if this team is now gearing up for a playoff push. (CROSSES FINGERS. KNOCKS ON WOOD. SACRIFICES SOUR PATCH CHILDREN.)
- Take it with a grain of salt. Two points notwithstanding, this is the Islanders here. The Eastern Conference is split between top and bottom relatively clearly, and with the B’s recent play, it should be no surprise that the game was won as handily as this, even after the abysmal start. Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak are outstanding, but they can’t win every game for us.
Montreal Canadiens. Saturday. 7pm. Right here with your Chowder friends.