It wasn't as easy as it could have been. The Bruins allowed things to get a bit too interesting last night against the Panthers, but thanks to Tim Thomas, and some excellent scrambling in the last minute, they'll go into the break on a positive note.
Lucic scored his 20th goal of the season, his first ever 20 goal campaign and we're only at the All-Star Break. It was probably his prettiest of the 20, as he snapped a shot over Vokoun's blocker side. It was so much different from Lucic as a rookie. Back then, he'd blast shots in the general direction of the goal. This was a snipe, with purpose and intent. And it turned out to be the game-winner.
Tim Thomas was superb. Florida had a few rushes, and every time but once, Timmy came up with the stops. He's turning into something like Pedro Martinez in 2000. You expect a shutout every start, and it's shocking when he gives anything up.
Several Bruins showed dogged determination and ferocious character in the last minute of this game. Bergeron, Campbell, and Ference in particular. They carried the win home and it was truly enjoyable to watch them scrape and claw for the victory.
But not all was positive. Michael Ryder's 13:31 of ice time was horrendous. If this guy doesn't get a perfect tape-to-tape pass, he bungles the puck. He spends half his shifts drifting around, not doing anything. I'm fed up with him. I see guys like Horton struggling, but still making basic plays. Ryder just screws everything up. He's Dennis Wideman as a forward.
It's kind of a moot point with Savard out, but if Julien doesn't trust Seguin to play in the last 8 minutes of a 2-1 game, then maybe Seguin should be playing in Providence. He'd at least be getting the experience in those hectic situations, and then one day he could be a full-time NHL player.
Again, with Savard out, Seguin must remain in Boston. But even without Savard, he played less than 10 minutes last night. He's played about 605 minutes this year. He could easily have 800+ minutes already if he were in Providence. Tough minutes, Power Play minutes, shorthanded minutes, game deciding minutes. Instead, he's learning more about cheering his teammates than playing hockey.
Bruins don't play until Tuesday down in Carolina. With 50 games in the books, they're 4 points up on Montreal in the Division and 3rd in the East. That ain't bad. The All-Star Game is Sunday, but the more interesting Skills Competition is Saturday. Those are also in Carolina.