Boston Bruins win to buck up spirits of New England sports fans

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 06: David Krejci
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 06: David Krejci /

New England sports fans, keep your heads up high.  The Lombardi Trophy may not be coming to Boston, but the Boston Bruins continue to show why the Stanley Cup could make its way to Causeway Street.

Yep, it’s true, the New England Patriots weren’t able to finish the job, and they were on the losing end of Super Bowl LII.  But rejoice sports fans, the Boston Bruins just keep showing up and doing their thing.  I’m sure in September if you asked which team would be more likely to win a Championship this season, the Patriots or the Bruins, 99% of people would have picked the Pats.


Well, even though the Patriots lost, the Bruins (and the Celtics by the way) continue to make a push towards the playoffs in their respective leagues.  The Bruins, sitting 2nd in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, headed on the road tonight to Detroit to take on the division rival Red Wings.

First period

The Boston Bruins came out of the gate strong, as has been their pattern during their incredible run of games since early December.  The Bruins offense was effortlessly getting the puck up and through the neutral zone in the Wings end of the ice.  This generated a fair amount of scoring chances for Boston.

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Unfortunately for the Bruins, former University of Maine Black Bear Jimmy Howard was sharp.  Howard made several saves on point blank chances.  Even when the Bruins had the first power play of the game, Howard was able to keep the puck out of the net.

On the defensive end, the Bruins stymied nearly every attempt by the Wings to get the puck into the zone.  The Wings scoring chances were few and far between.  The Bruins outshot the Red Wings 13-5 in the first period, and Bruins ‘tender Tuukka Rask stopped every shot he faced.  The period ended the way it started, 0-0.

Second period

The Bruins were once again the better team in the second frame.  As the period started, it seemed the Red Wings made some adjustments during intermission to tighten up the defense.  Despite that, the Bruins were still getting good looks at the Wings net, but couldn’t solve Howard.

As has been a pattern recently, the Bruins ended up giving up the first goal.  During the penalty kill of a Charlie McAvoy stick infraction, Martin Frk buried a one-timer from Ovechkin’s office.  Rask was able to get some of the puck, but there was enough oomph on the shot that it was able to sneak through.

The joy in Hockeytown wouldn’t last long for the hometown fans.  The Bruins were able to put together an incredible amount of pressure on the Wings defense on a play in the offensive zone.  A net front scramble ensued, during which the bouncing biscuit came to David Pastrnak, who them fired a saucy no-look pass to Sean Kuraly, who scored his first goal since November 24, 2017.

The Bruins weren’t done in the second.  On another somewhat broken play in front of the Red Wings net, and with some intense pressure, David Krejci was able to bounce on a loose puck and fire it into a yawning cage.  Howard was completely out of position, and his defenseman couldn’t help him out covering the backside.  The Bruins were now up 2-1 heading into the final period.

Third period

The beginning of the period started with a 4-on-4, while Patrice Bergeron and Justin Abdelkader finished serving matching minor penalties incurred in the second.  Shortly after that was over, Zdeno Chara sent Darren Helm into a whirley-gig of a tumble, which lead to a tripping call on the big man.  The Bruins were able to kill the penalty with their best PK man in the box, and even had a nice 3-on-1 shorthanded chance.

The Wings were able to generate some zone time and puck possession, but the Bruins defensive play was able to keep all shots from the outside where Rask could see them.  The Bs kept the Wings out of the scoring zones, and then decided to do some scoring of their own.

Three rookies decided to team up for a great blue-collar goal.  Danton Heinen made a nice play in the neutral zone to get the puck deep into open space.  Kuraly and Austin Czarnik put on a vicious forecheck that led to a Wings turnover.  The puck made it to Heinen’s stick in the slot, and he put the puck right where mama hides the cookies, and it was 3-1 Bruins.

The Wings, down by two, pulled Howard with well over two minutes left.  After a good chunk of 6-on-5 time, the Wings were able to capitalize with the extra man.  Frans Nielson was able to put the puck passed Rask, and pull the Wings within one.  Howard once again made his way to the bench, and Detroit kept up the pressure.  Rask made a nice stop on Nielson after he collected a deflected puck in front of the net.

After a Bruins timeout, a Chara icing, a few Wings chances, and a Krejci icing, the Bruins were able to bleed the clock out, the Bruins skated off the ice with a 3-2 win.

Takeaways from the game

What’s going on in Hockeytown?  I get that the team isn’t winning, but the brand new Little Caesar’s Arena looked darn near empty.  The lower bowl could not have had more than 60% occupancy.  I’ll give the Wings and their fans a pass for the last time the Bruins were in town there was a big snowstorm.  But tonight?  Pathetic attendance.  Yet somehow, they beat out the Bruins and their fans for the FanSided Fandom250…yeah, right.

The rookies were lighting up Motown tonight.  Heinen had two points (1-1), Kuraly had two points (1-1), Czarnik had an assist, and DeBrusk had an assist.  Czarnik had been lighting up the AHL this season and it’s nice to see him up in Boston, even if it’s just temporary.  He is certainly someone to keep your eye on as a potential NHLer in the near future.

Next: Boston Bruins Week 18: Bergeron for Hart Trophy

Tuukka Rask’s personal point streak now sits at 21 games.  Rask is 19-0-2 in those 21 games.  If the Bruins are going to make any noise in the playoffs, Rask will need to continue his dominant play.  It doesn’t help that the team in front of him is playing incredible sound hockey.