What a difference a few days can make. The Boston Bruins are two for two in the month of December thanks largely to a re-commitment to crisp passing, crashing the net, and pouncing on rebounds. Not to mention, the impact of the return of Marc Savard.
In my last piece, I wrote about what a great holiday gift it would be if the Bruins came out of Philadelphia with a win. The, seemingly, new and improved offense played a huge role Wednesday December 1, 2010 when the Bruins defeated the Flyers 3-0 behind timely goal scoring from Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, and Milan Lucic, plus incredible goaltending by Tim Thomas. The boys from the Hub of the Universe looked like the team we had watched in October, dominating their opponents and making big plays when they were needed most. Most importantly, this was a win that was badly needed for the Boston players, coaches, management, and fans. Everyone in the hockey world remembers the “colossal collapse” of last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs and this game went a long way in restoring faith in the black and gold.
Game number two for the week took place last night in the friendly confines of TD Garden and home cooking has not tasted this good in quite a while. As Boston’s television play by play broadcaster, Jack Edwards, put it, the Bruins “…put a snowman on the scoreboard…” as they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-1. Coach Claude Julien‘s charges were firing on all cylinders and seemed to score almost at will. They used their speed to win races to pucks and won the one on one battles along the boards. The B’s let the puck do the work by making creative, tape to tape, passes. The forwards established great presence in front of the Lightning goal, the defense made great outlet passes, and once again, Tim Thomas came up with some amazing saves when called upon. This was, perhaps, the club’s best game of the season. They shut down Steven Stamkos, the leading scorer in the National Hockey League, and in doing so, put a wrench into the Lightning’s run and gun style of offense. When it was all said and done, center David Krejci and winger Michael Ryder had led the way with 3 points each and Thomas stopped 37 out of 38 shots. Unsung defenseman Dennis Seidenberg continues to be one of the top blueliners in the NHL. The German Olympian kept Tampa Bay’s top forwards away from rebounds and made strong decisions with the puck, including the decision to shoot on goal when Lightning goaltender, Dan Ellis, expected Seidenberg to shoot the puck around the glass. Seidenberg had his head up, saw Ellis begin to move toward the corner, and shot the puck into an open net. The goal gave Boston a 2-0 lead and proved to be the winning goal. Check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrS6KUuoIWA.
The night also saw the long awaited return of Marc Savard. The slick center iceman received a standing ovation from the Boston crowd. He played on a line with Michael Ryder and Tyler Seguin. Savard carried the puck with confidence and set up teammates for numerous scoring chances. Savard recorded 15:45 of ice time on 21 shifts. He had one shot on goal and 0 points but it was very evident how his return served as a spark for the club, especially Seguin, who seemed to have more jump in his legs and was noticeable every time he stepped on the ice . Earlier in the day, a variety of news services in the United States and Canada reported that
Bruins winger, Marco Sturm, had been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for conditional draft picks. The deal was never finalized by either team, as it hinged on Sturm passing his physical exam with Kings doctors. As it turned out, the Kings apparently did not like what they saw in the medical reports concerning Sturm’s recently surgically repaired knee and the trade was called off. This leaves Sturm and the Bruins in precarious positions. Sturm agreed to waive his no-trade clause in his contract in order for the deal to be made. He even went as far as to say goodbye to his Boston teammates before the game versus Tampa Bay but as of this writing, he remains a member of the Boston Bruins and will be at practice with the club today. The question begs to be asked, what is next? Will general manager Peter Chiarelli continue to try to move Sturm to another team or keep him and begin discussing a deal concerning a different Bruin with Los Angeles or another NHL club? That remains to be seen.
The schedule shows the Bruins travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs Saturday. It is the featured game on Canadian television’s Hockey Night in Canada. Every Canadian boy I’ve ever coached or coached against dreams of playing in a game that will be broadcast on HNIC. Some of those players such as Pittsburgh’s Mark Andre Fleury, Columbus’ Rick Nash, and Carolina’s Eric Staal, have achieved that dream. It is always a grand event and most of Canada will be glued to their television sets to witness the game.
Finally, I have to admit, I’m not into rap or hip hop music. I’m a country music man, myself, but a rapper called Flem (I kid you, not) has recorded a tune dedicated to the Bruins titled, Black and Yellow. Check out the video and let me know what you think, I will warn you, there are three “F” bombs in the song. Ladies and gentlemen, I now present… Flem…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btYmZbrFt18&feature=player_embedded.
For all news pertaining to the NHL in general…..please visit Too Many Men on the Site – Fansided`s excellent coverage of the Greatest Game on Ice !
Tags: Black And Gold Black And Yellow Boston Boston Bruins Canada Carolina Claude Julien Columbus Dan Ellis David Krejci Dennis Seidenberg Eric Staal FanSided Flem German Olympian HNIC Hockey Night In Canada Jack Edwards Kings Los Angeles Kings Marc Andre Fleury Marc Savard Marco Sturm Michael Ryder Milan Lucic National Hockey League NHL Patrice Bergeron Peter Chiarelli Philadelphia Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Rick Nash Savvy Stanley Cup Playoffs Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning TD Garden Tim Thomas Toronto Toronto Maple Leafs Tyler Seguin United States