The Bruins needed to come out and give a full sixty minutes of hockey tonight. That was our concern and our hope. That if the Black and Gold could muster that kind of effort through the whole game, we would have nothing to worry about. The Bruins delivered that last night, to the relief and joy of all the members of the Nation.
A lot of people wondered if the Bruins could flip the metaphorical switch to get themselves back into the swing of things after their abysmal last few games in the regular season. Well, apparently they can. In fact, according to Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, it exists. “We have one in the back,’’ offered jokingly to the press after the game.“We just flipped it over.’’
It was a slightly shaky start for the Bruins though. A very early penalty on Patrice Bergeron (Tripping at 1:38)gave Toronto a power play opportunity. They cashed in on it within the first fifteen seconds when James van Riemsdyk got the first goal of the night past Tuukka Rask. After that one goal though, Tuukka shut down everything else thrown at him that night (19 saves and a .950 save percentage.)
There were concerns with the lines as well. Dougie Hamilton was out as a healthy scratch, and Wade Redden was in. Redden was another one of those Chiarelli trades that had us wondering at the start. Thankfully, Chiarelli’s hindsight has proven a boon to us during his tenure, and it was just another smart choice to add to his collection. Wade Redden tied it up for us at 16:20 with a wicked slapshot. He then earned an assist when Nathan Horton batted down his shot in front of the Toronto net at 19:48. Redden’s two points validated Chiarelli’s action and pleased the Nation.
“I think the coaches and the team here knew what I could do and who I am,” said Redden. “I just came in and worked hard to just get the chance. That’s really what you look for. Things have gone pretty decent. They believe that I can get the job done for them, so that’s a big part of it. The role I’ve got, I’ve just got to make the most of it there and be a part of the team — help them get the wins as much as I can. I guess that’s really what I’m here to do.” Redden ended up playing 16:57 tonight with over four and a half of that on the power play.
The Merlot Men made themselves a presence throughout the entire game. Yes, they played their aggressive brand of a physical game. They were also EVERYWHERE last night. The Leafs’ fourth line were standing still compared to ours. Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell both earned an assist on the Redden goal, and their experience in playing together led to a ‘hive mind mentality’ that kept Toronto on the ropes whenever they were on the ice.
The Bruins never took their foot off the gas after the Redden goal. In fact, it turned into a bloody shooting gallery. The Bruins ended up putting forty shots on net, giving Toronto goalie James Reimer a rather painful initiation into post season play. Tyler Seguin led the way with seven shots on goal, including a shot that was initially counted as a goal, but waved off by the refs. (If you watched the game, even Seguin knew it wasn’t one.) All but three Bruins (Thronton, Paille, and McQuaid) attempted shots on goal. We even got to see a ‘Johnny Rocket’ deployed to devastating effect against Toronto. Johnny Boychuk‘s shot sailed past Reimer and put the proverbial nail in the coffin at 15:44 in the second.
David Krejci has been one of our undervalued players this season. He’s always been there, he has done his job, and hasn’t fully gotten his due. Tonight he was chosen as the first star of the game. He ended up with a three point night(one goal, two assists, +2 ). It was his 21st career playoff goal and 13th multiple-point game. After the game, he was donning the latest of Andrew Ference‘s ‘star of the game’ wear. The US Army Jacket, was decorated in a mix of armed forces and Boston Bruins insignia. “A wins a win and we’re pretty happy with that.” he offered simply to the media.
A wins a win and we’re pretty happy with that. Yes, I’d say that sums up how we all feel Krejci. The Bruins and the Leafs will be at it again on Saturday night.