Approaching this game with some excitement? GREAT! So did we!!
The novelty of new players on each side definitely added to the “drama”, but how did the game play out?
The game began fairly even-keeled, with chances back and forth - and maybe not surprisingly, new addition Marcus Johansson was buzzing around the San Jose left post, getting involved early.
The B’s earned the first PP, but fail; the Sharks got an advantage as well, and were able to capitalize. Jaro Halak tentatively approached a loose puck outside the trapezoid and the B’s defense couldn’t collapse on it quickly enough.
A double minor to the Sharks’ Timo Meier on a bloody high stick to Jake DeBrusk’s face gave Boston an opportunity to counter; success! The score in first two minutes washed it down to a single minor, but nothing came for the remaining B’s power play.
The Sharks made a concerted effort to gain the zone more cleanly, but at the detriment of their ability to put pucks on net. The period ended with the shot totals heavily favoring Boston, 16-8.
The Bruins had serious challenges controlling the puck for much of anything - sure, Matt Grzelcyk still looked silky smooth, and there were a couple smart-ish dump-ins, but nothing to write home about. In an effort to put some salt in this one, Barclay Goodrow started to exchange crosschecks with Torey Krug, to little avail.
Boston began really pushing San Jose on their heels, and after trying to set up calmly (and without success), they decided to sprint it down the ice. A great skating start from Charlie McAvoy with passes through Danton Heinen and Marchand saw the puck return to McAvoy in the high slot, and well... he can shoot.
Less than 40 seconds later, some fortuitous passing gave Boston no choice but to score again. Jake DeBrusk finished it off, and Johansson recorded his first point as a Bruin assisting on the play.
Good on Jake DeBrusk to get rewarded for jumpstarting the scoring chance with a great play in the neutral zone.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 27, 2019
20th goal of the season for DeBrusk. pic.twitter.com/tVbyPSSrV0
Several penalties later, and Brad Marchand advocates for 4v4 hockey as a permanent change to game play. Doesn’t matter that the Sharks still had five skaters out there, he don’t care.
Through the rest of the second, back-and-forth penalties stalled out further pressure for either team.
Third Period: The Haymakers
Yeah, things got a little out of control in the third. Evander Kane finally had enough of Chara roughing him up, and jumped the hulking defenseman just over three minutes in.
Evander Kane goes after and fights Zdeno Chara after getting dropped pic.twitter.com/NKNpxdO7GF— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 27, 2019
The result: Chara got an elbowing call for stepping into Kane to start the fracas (after Kane had hit him hard just prior, but we digress, maybe that was an elbow) and five for fighting, and Kane got two for roughing for the MMA takedown on Chara, the fighting major, and a misconduct penalty - closely followed by a SECOND misconduct for what looked like chirping the referee from the box.
Just seconds after Kane’s formal ejection, David Backes and Micheal Haley dropped the gloves right in front of the penalty boxes. Because, why not, Backes?
Micheal Haley vs David Backes from the San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins game on Feb 26, 2019 https://t.co/uXwgDZ5htq— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) February 27, 2019
It took most of the third period for San Jose to register a shot on goal, and after over ten minutes of quiet play (and lead defense from Boston), the game just kinda faded out.
Movin’ on to Thursday, where we’ll see a big matchup against East powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning!