When people think of Bruins vs Canadiens hockey, images of bench clearing brawls and playoff upsets and overtime defeats come to mind. While tonight certainly was an intense match up between these old time rivals, it certainly didn’t seem like much was happening out on the ice.
The game was mostly back and forth hockey, Montreal opened the scoring with a point shot by PK Subban in the second period on the powerplay. The Bruins penalty kill certainly looked sharp tonight and gave up only one power play goal (which would be the only goal Montreal scored) and short handed production has been showing some improvement in terms of breakouts but nothing is clicking yet.
The Bruins answered back in the third period with goals from the “new” first line of Lucic – Krejci – Seguin (which Claude did up in the third period.), it mirrored the play of the line near the end of last season when Nathan Horton went down with a concussion. Tyler Seguin and David Krejci added back to back goals 2:05 apart with Lucic playing hard and moving the puck. The second line’s play of Campbell – Bergeron – Horton was also very good and certainly put the puck on net quite a bit.
Providence call up Ryan Spooner played alongside Jamie Tardiff and Lane MacDermid on the foruth line and all of them, while not registering a lot of shots on goal, played very hard and physical during their time on the ice and all played very well and with poise, especially Spooner who had an aggressive forecheck against the Habs in their own end. Speaking of poise, Chris Bourque is improving well registering a few shots on goal and played very well in the neutral zone and defensive zone during the second and third period.
Tuukka Rask went 20/21 on the night, and Carey Price went 21/23. Rask was on point and so was the defence this game, they were very aware of what was going on in front of their goalie and Rask played hard and stuck to the crease and followed the puck well. Rask posted a .952 SV% which brings his current season stats to a .922 SV% and a 1.96 GAA mirroring the stats of Byron DaFoe in 1998-99 (who finished with a .926 SV% and a 1.99 GAA on route to being a Vezina Finalist and Second-Team All Star.) Any doubts about Tuukka’s ability as starting goal tender should be laid to rest by now, but for any remaining doubters.. tonight’s game and the Leafs game should be enough.
The Bruins play again on Saturday at home in Boston against the surging Tampa Bay Lightning.