The Bruins played their best hockey game of the year last night giving a full sixty minute effort. The first two Senators goals have to be called fluke goals. They count, but I doubt any coach in the history of sports has drawn up something like that. Still the signs were good. Shawn Thornton responded to the team going down early by dropping the gloves and beating the tar out of the nearest Senator. When the Bruins finally tied it only to give up the second odd goal to the Stephane Da Costa – Nick Foligno paring, no one panicked.
Despite the blatant lies told by the stat sheet the hit total for this game was closer to seventy than the thirty in the record books. Bergeron buried both Da Costa and Foligno on one shift, Lucic left players sprawling and up and down the rosters for both teams dished out punishment. Milan Lucic got another powerplay goal to get the Bruins on the board. Better still, all four lines were engaged. Greg Campbell dropped the gloves in the third period, Daniel Paille had a goal on a break away. Chris Kelly chipped in a goal, and Boychuk almost certainly celebrated his goal with an Amstel Light after the game.
Hands down the most impressive line of the night was that the Bergeron line. All three forwards showed elite conditioning by playing more than twenty minutes and looking good doing it. Seguin made a diving defensive play that saved a goal. Marchand had two or three opportunities that didn’t go in but still picked up an assist and stripped the puck from Senators on a regular basis. Bergeron was physical along the boards, made smooth flat passes and kept the powerplays moving smoothly. Together the three use the whole ice surface so well its going to be difficult for any opponent to counter them effectively without taking a lot of penalties.
Just a day after being publicly spanked by their coach the David Krejci and Nathan Horton fans love and opponents hate were back on the ice. With any luck the NHL security team will figure out how to keep their inefficient, sluggish and lackluster doppelgangers out of the building. One can only hope that the pair was mistaken on the time of year having been thrown off by finishing the season two months later than normal thus allowing their evil doubles a chance to fill their roster spots. Finally Jordan Caron’s hard work has paid off, he set up a great screen on a goal, and should have had an assist on another.
While it’d be nice to chalk this up in the win column, declare the hangover gone, and start planning the parade, it is still a bit early for that. Daniel Alfredsson was out of the Senators line up. He’s not an ornamental captain, he plays in all situations has already collected both shorthanded and powerplay goals, and is the type of cool professional that has kept him a dangerous offensive force regardless of what the rest of the roster looks like. Also, given their six game winning streak, they were not just due for a loss, a roster as young as the Senators probably looked at the record of the Bruins and overlooked them. It’s also just one game, the Bruins are still at the bottom of the conference, and still seven points out of the division lead they should on paper at least have a claim to.