I’m wondering if we can activate some clause in an international trade agreement to send some of the NHL refs to Europe.
There. I had to get that out of my system. The Boston Bruins finished out the month of February with a match up against the Ottawa Senators last night. The home game had Boston in a division rivalry with two teams that worked hard to find different ways to win. The Bruins line played to their defense, and physicality. They’ve also got such a deep set of lines and players that know each other. The Ottawa Senators on the other hand have a scrappy ‘never say die’ mentality. They were heading into Boston with a five game win streak. This win streak is all the more incredible when you realize the Senators had holes so big in their roster you could drive a zamboni through them.
Nathan Horton scored our only regulation goal, and his seventh of the season in the second period. He got an assist from Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton to give us the 1-0 lead. This was also Dougie’s eighth assist. Hamilton now leads Bruins’ defensemen with nine points. Then came the Bruins expectant litany of penalties. I know some of it is kind of sloppy play, and some of it is tired play, and occasionally blind or intellectually challenged referees. The Bruins penalty kill streak stopped at twenty seven though. We were a man down for a two many men on the ice penalty. The Senators O’Brien was able to poke a puck past Tuukka. It tied it up at 1-1, and it led to Patrice Bergeron scoring a goal in overtime that took five minutes for the refs to revue. (For those who us who watched it on NESN, it took about five seconds.)
I believe we owe this game to Tuukka Rask. The Bruins played well tonight, but Rask was phenomenal. Had the Bruins backed Tuukka up a little more last night, he would have easily racked up his second shutout of the season. Tuukka Rask has been our breakout player this season. Tuukka’s 1.82 goals against average and a .933 save percentage puts him in the top three among NHL goaltenders. His eleven wins ties him for first.
In the magical 2011 season we all felt a certain level of trust and awe for Tim Thomas. A lot of us still do. It is safe to say we can put that trust and faith in Tuukka now. The torch has been passed. The fans believe it, the writers believe it, and so do the Bruins.
“Tuukks – we call him Felix the Cat because he’s so quick . He’s been doing that all year, every game. When he’s back there, he’s a shooter tutor with no holes and he’s such a great guy and you just want to see him do well and he’s been amazing for us.” – Nathan Horton
“He’s playing great. I don’t think he’s really surprising anybody. He’s been solid for us for a number of years and has just kind of been waiting patiently. I know everybody wanted the best for him, so it’s just really nice to see him doing what I think everybody hoped and expected he would do.” – Andrew Ference
“Tuukka kept us in the game for sure. Ottawa had some great chances. We were a little off in in our zone finding loose pucks and the puck was bouncing a little bit too, and we talked about that, keeping things simple. On the road we had to do that and again tonight, and sometimes we didn’t do it. “I think when you know you’re capable of doing the job and you have the abilities to be our number one, you want to thrive on your chance and he’s doing that right now. He’s grabbed it, and he’s running with it.” - Patrice Bergeron
“He’s feeling good, so there was no hesitation putting him in tonight. He did a great job again. There were some point blank shots there from the slot area that on a lot of occasions you probably would have seen a goal.” – Coach Claude Julien
The Bruins will try to extend their win streak to six with a Saturday matinee game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The puck drops at 1pm.