Thursday, April 02, 2009
BRUINS WIN THEIR 50TH!!!
The Senators, to their credit, played the Bruins extremely hard Thursday night, despite being freshly eliminated from postseason contention. But they couldn't get much by Tim Thomas and the Bruins, who now have their 8th 50 win season, and a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference.
Thomas was outstanding, yet again. He stopped 31 of 32 shots. Late in the 3rd, he did something I've never seen a goalie do: he avoided the puck. Alfredsson took an extreme angle shot from the corner, parallel to the goal-line. Thomas was already committed to jumping back to defend the post, but when he realized he'd be risking knocking the puck in, he avoided it altogether, leaping over the puck and letting it slide under him.
Milan Lucic also had a terrific game. He scored the tying goal after initiating the play in his defensive zone with a big hit. Ryder and Krejci moved the puck up, and Lucic was sprung on a breakaway. He knocked it in with a textbook finish.
There are still chinks in the armor for the Bruins. A neutral zone turnover resulted in Ottawa's goal. But the Bruins could have easily won this game 5-1 with slightly better finishing. The penalty kill is playing very strong, the forecheck looks good, and guys like Savard and Krejci are clicking.
The B's host the Rangers Saturday afternoon in what could be a preview of the first round. New York is currently in 8th place.
The Bruins need 2 more points to clinch home-ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. They currently have 110 points, their highest since 1983.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer