Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hibernating Bruins Have Awoken

Through two periods last night, the Bruins had 7 goals, the Leafs had 7 shots. That sums it up right there. The Bruins have put together 6 consecutive periods of quality hockey, and they hadn't done that since Thanksgiving. Winter is over. Spring is here. The hibernating bears have woken up. And they mauled Golidlocks (Kessel).

The B's kept up their good habits the whole game despite the lopsided lead. Playing well meant more to them than the two points which were already in their pockets. And that's very encouraging to see.

I'm glad Thomas stayed in net for the 3rd. The idea of resting him and putting in Turco is a bit silly. How much rest are you really giving Thomas? And what if Turco lets 4 go by him in 10 minutes, you have to bring Thomas back? And it's also good to let Thomas go out there in the 3rd and try for a shutout, his 5th of the season, and first since December 17th. He only needed to make 13 saves so it's not like that 3rd period taxed him much anyway.

Joe Corvo was scratched again. And that's very fine with me. 125 minutes without him and the Bruins have played 125 of their best minutes of the season.

On Saturday the defensemen initiated the physical battles against Philadelphia. Last night the forwards followed their example. Gregory Campbell fought 30 pounds above his weight-class and held his own against Luke Schenn. Komisarek made the mistake of taking on Lucic. And he should know better by now.

The crowd chanted "Thank you, Kessel" after Seguin scored to make it 8-0, and I think the differences between Kessel and Seguin emphasize the differences between the Maple Leafs and Bruins. Kessel has 35 goals and 40 assists. Seguin has 26 goals and 34 assists. Kessel is a threat to score 40 every season. Seguin might be that someday, but right now he isn't.

However, Seguin plays the whole game. He makes defensive plays and smart passes. He doesn't hurt his team. He is an elite talent playing the within team's system. Kessel is an elite talent but struggles in systems. Kessel plays Phil Kessel's game. That's partially why he is a -7, and Seguin is a +29.

Kessel is also probably a better golfer than Seguin. That's an individualistic game which suits Kessel's attitude better. And Kessel gets much more opportunity to sharpen his skills.

To be fair to Kessel, the Leafs don't have much of a system for him to play in. And last night they surrendered when they were down 4-0. No fire, no pride, no team mentality. Just 5 individuals skating around. It tends to happen when you build your team around guys like Phil Kessel.

Bruins head West to San Jose Thursday night. The Bruins are 3 points ahead of Ottawa with a game in hand. The Senators host New Jersey tonight.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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