Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer (AP Photo)
Boston has been making some serious deals the past couple of days, moving lineup regular Spooner along with Matt Beleskey and assets to the New York Rangers in exchange for Rick Nash. The new addition and looming Trade Deadline give yet another reminder that Boston should be getting into that end of season grind mentality. Former Bruin Chad Johnson will face off against Anton Khudobin, who has started to look like a regular back up goalie again.
What I Am Looking Forward To
After the trade for Rick Nash, I want to see how he fits in with this team. He will basically be meeting the rest of the gang for the first time on the ice, so it’ll be interesting to see what the coaches have told him to do. He’ll be on a line with DeBrusk and Krejci. He reminds me a lot of the Horton/Krejci combo that the Bruins ran so much a couple years ago. Krejci has been looking for the winger to fit with him, and hopefully Rick Nash is just that.
The new look Bruins got off to a physical start with the line of David Krejci, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk playing using great body position to move around the offensive zone. Boston continued to get good offensive zone time but couldn’t get anything done on a Baptise penalty. The PP units will need more time to get adjusted to Rick Nash’s play style on the man advantage. The Bruins got into some penalty trouble and gave up two power-play goals to Benoit Pouliot and Kyle Okposo on penalties from Marchand and Chara. Boston as a whole looked pretty sluggish, but that was expected with this early start the day after a hard game last night against Toronto but against a team like Buffalo, there should be no slow starts for a team like Boston, especially since Buffalo also played last night. One thing to note was the absence of Patrice Bergeron for some of the first period after what seemed like a high stick to the face. He was reportedly back on the bench to end the first.
BOS – N/A
BUF – Pouliot PP (Antipin, Baptise) Okposo PP (O’Reilly)
Patrice Bergeron was back to start the second, and after some good play along the boards, Marchand was sprung out of his own zone to go down the ice on a one-on-one that led to cycling the puck down low until David Pastrnak found Charlie McAvoy moving in from the point for the pass-and-shoot that ended in a McAvoy goal. The one goal lead didn’t last for long. Rodrigues popped one just a couple minutes after McAvoy, which brought the Bruins two goals back. But then they started to go to work in the offensive end. Time after time they would enter and get shots, and one of those ended up with 1:52 straight of zone time that included a broken stick and a line change by Boston. Even with all of this time and all those shots, the Bruins couldn’t get one by Johnson. The Bruins need to start converting and scoring if they want to give themselves a chance to tie it up.
BOS – McAvoy (Pastrnak, Marchand)
BUF – Rodrigues (Reinhart, Ristolainen)
In a period where the Bruins needed to be near perfect to get back in the game, Kevan Miller took a penalty which turned into a simple goal from Marco Scandella. Anton Khudobin seemed to be out of it tonight. The defensive play of the Bruins didn’t help that much either, but it just was an off night for him. He only stopped 19 shots of the 23 on the net. The Bruins went 0/4 on the power play, but remember that one of those was for only four seconds. The rest of the game seemed to lack the intensity that was shown in the second period, even though they still had 11 shots in the second period. They gave up near the end, something that shouldn’t happen when you are a playoff team like they are.
BOS – N/A
BUF – Scandella PP (Pominville, Antipin)
Boston has been known to play down to opponents, and this needs to change if they want to go far in the playoffs. The little things that led to goals for a team like Buffalo will be taken advantage of even more by teams like Vegas or Tampa. Cassidy is a great coach, and Bruins fans shouldn’t be worried about the team losing that special something they had during their crazy points run. And just to remind people, when the deadline is in the past, the team will be more confident and ready to go.
KG’s Three Stars Of The Game
1st: Charlie McAvoy – The only goal scorer of the game, McAvoy played just as well defensively as he did offensively. He was great at sending in the puck when he had pressure on him when he was skating along the blueline. What a great young player he is.
2nd: David Pastrnak – The guy who always generates offensive did just that tonight as he was flying up and down the wing. He played well from behind the net and played an important part of the Bruins cycle game.
3rd: Rick Nash – For a guy who skated with the team for the first time in the warmups, Rick Nash played pretty well. His front of the net presence seems to fit nicely with the Bruins play style. He generated a team-leading five shots. Once he gets to practice with the team and get to know people, he’ll be even better.
MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Sean Kuraly – It was a real nose-to-the-grindstone kind of game for Kuraly, playing physical as always and putting pucks on net. Always a great option to put out when you need to generate some energy.
BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game
Tuesday, February 27th vs Carolina in Boston