Now I have to pretend to care about the All-Star Game!
Can you believe this game actually started slow? Because against all odds, it did. The Bruins and Flyers came together to play an otherwise fairly sedate period for about 14 minutes of game time.
Three seconds later, David Pastrnak did this on a fairly routine shot for him. 1-0 Bruins!
Which set off an absolutely absurd chain reaction in which the Boston Bruins scored three further goals in under four minutes. 4-0 Bruins!!!
This includes David Pastrnak’s 31st and 32nd goal, as well as a Danton Heinen one-in-a-million deflection, and Charlie McAvoy reading the play expertly. At no point were the Flyers any part of the actual equation on any of these goals; they were fundamentally absent.
Anyway, onto the second period!
Y’know who hasn’t scored in awhile? James Van Reimsdyk. You wanna know who did score?
That’d be James Van Reimsdyk on the doorstep, baby. Another shambolic performance out in front of their net. Could not be Boston. 5-0 Bruins!
Unfortunately, this was also the period in which the Flyers would ruin Ullmark’s shutout bid, as Tyson Foerster got on the board off of a long pass, complete with a power move to the net after beating Wotherspoon’s check mostly clean to the puck, and cutting into the middle. 5-1 B’s.
I’d have personally called icing, but I guess the referees have their own interpretation of such events.
Mercifully, that was about it for the period, and we head to the third!
Things didn’t start great, as an early shift in the defensive end saw the Flyers muck up just about every avenue to clear, and Tyson Foerster joined David Pastrnak on hat trick watch with yet another tally through traffic, using Grzelcyk’s stick as a tip.
Yuck. 5-2 Bruins.
Mercifully, things calmed down even as the Flyers began to pile on shots, as finally the dagger was good and well buried in Philly’s chest with Charlie Coyle putting some good effort together to go to the net with Pederson’s defense sitting square on his chest thanks to a tie-up. 6-2 Bruins!
Great work in tight to the netminder. Just another part of a phenominal year he’s been having.
No further goals were scored, and the Boston Bruins head to the All-Star Break with a 6-2 WIN over the Flyers!
- Your TOI Leader tonight was Hampus Lindholm, who finished tonight with 24:10 logged!
- I simply cannot believe how quiet most of that first period was, which was promptly superceded by one of the most insane final five minutes of a period I’ve seen this regular season. That felt like getting woken up with a flashbang.
- I think our first star would probably be Philadelphia’s boogeyman and their former ace in the hole; David Pastrnak and JvR. Both had three points tonight, were one of a very lucky few Bruins who drove play the correct direction the entire night, and of course, tormented Philly’s defense. Can’t ask for much more than that from either of them. A wonderful performance by both.
- We’ll also give some flowers to a player who seems to have finally found his footing; Hampus Lindholm. The +/- looked good, but in stats that matter? He was pretty damn good too! He was 4th on the team in xGF% and Unblocked-Shot-Attempts-For-%. Thinking our man was probably just fighting through something, because now he’s looking like the guy they traded for.
- I think we’re running out of superlatives for the kind of nights Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic are trading nights having. These two are in a bareknuckle fight to win the 7th player award that absolutely should go to Danton Heinen instead, and I am eager to see how they figure this out down the stretch.
- Speaking of which? Danton Heinen! Scoring off of a very silly series of deflections! Frankly, I’m just glad he got his hands on another goal; he’ll be well-clear of his point totals in Pittsburgh at this rate.
- Boston got killed at the faceoff dot again. At this point it’s like saying they put on helmets and elbow pads; it’s just going to be a given until they figure out their center depth for good.
- From a more X’s-and-O’s perspective, a big question that the Bruins have had to solve throughout the season is how on earth do you continue to keep momentum in games where its abundantly clear you’re not winning the possession battle? Well, it appears that Monty’s answer so far is absolutely cram the net-front with shots and win on pure shot quality alone. The Bruins net-front offense was humming loud against a moribund Philly without their starting goalie (and might be for some time), and all of it without having to use the power play! Good things happen when you go to the net, so why not just always have good things? Helps that again...the Flyers defense is garbage. They didn’t make it hard on the B’s to get chances whatsoever. Still! Good effort to do the right things in order to win.
- I’m broken up for Ullmark, man. He was probably penciled in for a shutout before some gaffes ended it. I just hope he can live with the .946 SV% on 37 shots and yet another win. Life can be so hard for goaltenders.
- That said please start winning some possession down the stretch in games; you’re gonna kill your goaltenders doing this “35+ shots a game” thing week in, week out.
- I can’t imagine how disappointed Pasta must be knowing his team is probably headed to Cabo and Hawaii and all sorts of warm places, and he has to go pretend Justin Bieber is funny or whatever and wear the Kidz Bop version of a hockey sweater. They’d better send him a real nice postcard. One with the embossed lettering and everything.
It’s All-Star Break time! The Boston Bruins are off until Tuesday, February 6th, when a Western Conference foe in Calgary makes their merry way to TD Garden to take on the B’s. That game drops the puck at 7pm EST.
In the meantime? Time to better discuss the second half of the season, feign interest in the All-Star Game, and set yourself up for the home stretch of the season!
See you then!