Friday, November 07, 2008
NEW NUMBER = HAT TRICK FOR BLAKE WHEELER
Blake Wheeler changed his number from 42 to 26 before last night's game. I think he's gonna stick with 26 for awhile, as he scored 3 goals in the Bruins' 5-2 victory over Toronto.
The last time these teams played, the B's jumped to a 2-0 lead, then blew it, losing in regulation. But this time they kept the pressure on after taking the lead. The 5-2 score doesn't do justice for how dominant the Bruins were. The Bruins kept the puck in Toronto's zone for long stretches of time.
One thing the Bruins have done very well as of late is kill penalties. Toronto was 0 for 4 on the power play last night, including more than a minute of 5 on 3. In the last 5 games, the Bruins have killed 18 of 20 penalties. And yes, that's 90%.
Another major reason why the Bruins have won 5 of their last 6 has been Tim Thomas. He's emerged as the clear #1 goalie on the team. He's allowed 6 goals in the last 5 games, and has stopped 162 of the last 168 shots he's seen (.964).
But the story last night was Blake Wheeler. It wasn't the most amazing hat trick in the world. It was a great deal like Lucic's a few weeks ago. Wheeler was in the right place at the right time and knocked in some nice passes from his teammates. and of course, the empty netter at the end was a designed play to set him up for the hat trick.
The Bruins host 1st place Buffalo Saturday night in an important divisional clash.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa