Bruins fans, meet Steve Stamkos. He might not be a household name for non-hockey enthusiasts just yet, but he soon will be. Stamkos, at only 20 years of age, netted his 44th and 45th goals of the season on Thursday night in a 5-3 win over the Bruins. The 2008 first overall pick is now tied with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead, and he is sixth in the league in points (86). I’d say that’s some decent company for Stamkos, who is still in the midst of only his second season.
Lightning in the form of Paul Szczechura also struck the Bruins twice on Thursday, as he rippled the mesh twice; once in the second period and once in the third. The 5 goals came despite the Lightning only generating 18 shots on net, a shooting percentage of 27.8 percent. They must have had March Madness on the mind because that statistic is more of a basketball field goal percentage than a hockey statistic. In fact, it’s not exactly a bad batting average either.
Nevertheless, it was clear Rask wasn’t the lightning rod that the Bruins had hoped for when deciding to start him for the eighth consecutive game. He simply wasn’t the same goalie who stopped all 27 shots he faced on Tuesday. In fact, Rask had only allowed 6 goals in his past 5 starts combined. It was clear he is a bit drained and this is when Tim Thomas will possess significant value going forward, even if Rask is the clear cut number one. Expect Thomas to be in net when the B’s try to put out the Flames on Saturday.