Last night was an interesting night of hockey. Future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr took the ice for the first time as a Boston Bruin. Tuukka Rask was trying to shake off his recent rough patch of starts, and Tyler Seguin was moved to center to shore up the second line. Normally, a large number of variables can lead to chaos, and the play was a little chaotic.
Players were trying to figure things out on the ice, and that let to some messy turnovers, and some sloppy play. In the end, Tuukka Rask asserted himself in the crease and stopped all forty shots directed at the net. That gave Tuukka his third shutout of the year. It also boosted his stats back into the top five in several categories. Rask’s overall record is now 16-5-4. His goals against average is back under two (1.94-3rd in NHL), and his save percentage has climbed back up to .927(4th in NHL).
Tyler Seguin had a stiff learning curve with the switch from winger to center. “The first shift I was like, ‘Bergy [Patrice Bergeron], I appreciate you a lot more right now.’ Yeah, definitely, I don’t know,” said a relieved and joking Seguin. “I guess the first period I felt it a little bit more, but as the game progressed I felt like I could use my speed a little bit more. It was just about finding those areas. It’s one thing from being a centerman and then going to the NHL, but it’s another thing from going center to wing in the NHL and then going back to center. It’s going to take some adjustment.” That adjustment will be mitigated by having Brad Marchand, a player he has played with his entire NHL career on one wing, and a living legend on the other.
Coach Claude Julien called it a work in progress.
The only goal of the game came early in the second period. Marchand and Jagr were working on a two-on-two breakaway. Marchand was skating high side and attempted to pass to the newly minted #68. Marchand sent it to Jagr, but it bounced off Jagr’s skate, and it directed itself thru Martin Brodeur‘s legs. That goal, which happened 1:20 in the second, was all the Bruins needed. To quote Jack Edwards “They don’t ask how pretty, they just ask how many, and that’s 680 in the career of Jaromir Jagr, his first as a Boston Bruin!”
Jaromir Jagr who already received a standing ovation coming out onto the ice, got to here his name chanted by seventeen thousand plus fans in the TD Garden. After the game, he was rather surprised by the amount of affection Bruins Nation had for him. “I really appreciate it.” said Jagr. “ I didn’t know that fans loved hockey so much in Boston.”
It’s been a rough shortened season for Boston who now has a 24-8-4 record. The Bruins are still a single point behind the Canadiens. The Bruins head up to Montreal on Saturday to determine who will be in first place in the Northeast Division.