Monday, April 12, 2010
BRUINS WIN THEIR WAY INTO PLAYOFFS
The Bruins took care of their own business this weekend, clinching a playoff berth with a 4-2 win over Carolina. To add an exclamation point to that, they went down to Washington and beat the Caps 4-3 in overtime.
The big story from Saturday's win was how the Bruins scored 3 goals. Not only were all 3 scored in a 64 second stretch, they all came shorthanded. It was an NHL record for the most goals scored in one power play by the penalty killing team. It doubled the B's shorthanded total of the season.
But the two goals allowed served as poignant reminders of their inconsistent ways. The first was a wrap-around that Johnny Boychuk could have stopped before it started. The second came from a series of turnovers in the defensive zone, as the Bruins failed to properly formulate their breakout attempts.
At the same time, the referees had an awful game. It was NBA quality officiating, the most notable example being an early whistle when a poorly positioned ref lost sight of the puck in Cam Ward's pads (he was in the corner behind the net, so half of Ward's body was obstructed, yet he was faster on the draw than Clint Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy). Bergeron slapped in the loose puck, but the ref had blown his whistle and the call.
Bergeron also had the play of the night. On a delayed penalty, Rask skated off for the extra attacker, and an unfortunate carom off the boards sent the puck on a path toward the empty net...
The Sunday afternoon win in Washington was nice, but I wouldn't think too much of it. Both teams had their #2 goalies in net. Both teams leaned on their younger players. Recchi, Bergeron, Chara, and Sobotka all got the day off. But the good news was that Michael Ryder woke up and scored twice. He actually looked confident and firm with the puck. In the previous 22 games, Ryder had scored 1 goal, and only had 5 assists in that stretch.
The Bruins finished the season with 91 points, their 3rd consecutive year with 90+. They haven't had three straight years with 90+ points since 1984. It's hardly a parade-worthy achievement, but when you're a Bruins fan, you learn to enjoy the small triumphs.
It'll be the Bruins and Sabres. In depth preview forthcoming. But as a Bruins fan, you can't ask for a better match-up than that.