Monday, April 23, 2012

Seguin Keeps Bruins In

The Bruins weren't going to win this series unless some of their key forwards woke up and scored. Krejci scored yesterday. Lucic had two assists. And Seguin scored the game-winner.

Seguin was dangerous all game. It was only a matter of time before he scored. He threatened frequently in the 1st, and he helped set-up Peverley's goal in the 3rd. Finally, the opportunity came for him in OT. He was confident, he was patient, he was Tyler Seguin. He waited for Braden Holtby to commit, then he attacked. And as good as the media has made Holtby out to be, Seguin is ridiculously more talented than him. And don't forget that Seguin has to practice against Tim Thomas. That might be part of the reason why he's becoming such a good player.

I thoroughly enjoy Eddie Olczyk's mis-analysis of Tim Thomas during the playoffs. He spouted the same crap last year. The NBC guys frequently critique the two time Vezina winner for his aggressiveness. I think Mr. Olczyk believes that if he laced up his skates today, he'd be able to score on Thomas with ease. But he has just a good of a chance to score on Thomas as he does of pronouncing a player's name correctly.

Thomas was great. Washington's first goal was a deflection off Zanon's leg. Their second goal came when the referees didn't call interference or high-sticking and the Caps had a de facto Power Play. Ironically, after the play Marchand couldn't return to the ice due to the flowing blood from the non-penalty. He got a stick to the face and Washington scored. Then again, the refs were primarily focused on clamping down the toughest, fiercest player in the NHL: Benoit Pouliot.

How much attention are the referees giving Pouliot's play? Pouliot has 6 penalty minutes this series. Ovechkin has 4. Who do you think has played rougher, pushed the rules further?

Speaking of penalties, the Washington fans properly displayed their ignorance when booing the 4 minute high-sticking call on Ovechkin. Stick to face equals a penalty. And blood makes it a 4 minute penalty. There's little grey area. What the hell were the Caps fans booing?

Then again, the lack of penalties on Ovechkin isn't new. He was 21st in the NHL with 215 hits in the regular season. He only received 26 penalty minutes. That's not a typo. He was only penalized 26 minutes. 21st most hits, 393rd most penalty minutes. It's impossible to be involved in so much physical play and not be penalized more. Clearly the refs have a different rule book for him.

The Bruins' Power Play looked much better than it's been in the first 5 games. The B's scored a PP goal in the 1st. And they were much better at entering the zone and maintaining possession. The next step is to move some bodies away from the puck. That makes it harder on the penalty killers. It opens up passing and shooting lanes, creates 2-on-1 situations, and forces the goalie to move around. And we've seen Holtby struggle when he's forced to move from post-to-post.

The Bruins' penalty killing is back to form too.

So we have another Game 7. This is familiar territory for many of the Bruins. If they can continue to grow on the Power Play; if Krejci, Seguin, and Lucic can contribute; and if Benoit Pouliot's rampaging can be harnessed, the Bruins should win.

I can't wait until Wednesday.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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