Boston Bruins: Alexander Khokhlachev and the Hockey Gods.


Sep 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Alexander Khokhlachev (76) skates in the offensive zone during the second period against the Washington Capitals at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Khokhlachev received a boon from the hockey gods tonight. He was due. When the Bruins were heading up to Montreal to take on the Canadiens, the B’s chose to take the young Russian center with them. KoKo got excited, called his family, and made arraignments for them all to meet up in Montreal to watch him play. It was going to be his first game of the year in the spoked ‘B’, and naturally the whole family was excited.

Then the Boston Bruins chose to scratch Khokhlachev at the very last second.

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Let’s look at it from the Bruins perspective. Who would you rather see in the Black and Gold? David Krejci or Khokhlachev? When facing their oldest and most bitter rivals, the Bruins chose to bring their best weapons in their arsenal to bear against the Habs.  After the third period though, it was clear that the Bruins had brought a knife to a gun fight.

The Habs totally outplayed the Bruins in an embarrassing rout at the Bell Centre. It was one of the worst defeats of the seasons for the B’s. The ugly part of that is that the B’s were shellacked even harder by the Toronto Maple Leafs the night before. Sure, the Bruins lost to a Habs team firing on all cylinders, but they lost to the lackadaisical Leafs as well.

The Bruins went back to Boston to lick their wounds and figure out what went wrong. The Bruins played entitlement hockey in Canada. They were sloppy, unprepared, and lacked focus. Both the Habs and the Leafs punished the B’s for that attitude, and in the long run may have done this Black and Gold team a favor.

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  • I digress though.

    Khokhlachev only played nine and a half minutes tonight. He did that centering the improvised second line with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. He wasn’t seen in the bottom half of the third period and hadn’t played any of the overtime period. While the Bruins were down 2-0 after the second, they stormed back with three final period goals, and the game had to be resolved in a shootout.

    The usual suspects for Boston took their shots at Sergei Bobrovsky. Reilly Smith, Griffith, and Patrice Bergeron failed to score. The Swedes of the Kelly line (Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson) couldn’t get a shot in. Torey Krug took a shot and fired it wide. Then it was the young Russian’s turn.

    Khokhlachev made it look easy as he put one past the Blue Jackets net minder and gave the B’s a 4-3 overtime win.  “A couple of fakes and I went five-hole,” Khokhlachev said post game. In the seventh round, Khokhlachev did something rather unusual for a NHL player, he earned his first game winning goal before scoring his first NHL goal.

    We often joke about the hockey gods, and we even occasionally pray to them. This time around, it looks like they heard the prayers of Bruins fans. The B’s now head back home where once again they will stare down the Canadiens.