Friday, February 07, 2014

Bruins Leave St. Louis with a Point

The Bruins played a better game, but the Blues made better plays. And the B's could have and maybe should have won.

Leaving St. Louis with a point is an achievement. Especially after being down 2-0 in the 3rd period. St. Louis was 17-4-2 against Eastern Conference opponents coming into this game. And the Bruins were without captain Zdeno Chara, who's in Sochi to carry Slovakia's flag for the Olympic opening ceremonies. That's got to be a pretty special moment in the life of an athlete.

Alexander Steen scored the Blues' first goal, and it was legit, and a good demonstration of why he's scored 28 this season. However the Bruins should have been on the power play after Loui Eriksson's teeth were "pushed in" (as Claude Julien described after the game) by a high stick. There was a lot of blood, but no penalty. The Bruins should have been given a 5-on-3 power play for about half a minute (the non-call occurred when the Bruins were already on a power play). Instead play continued and the next stoppage was Steen's goal.

And those are all the blues I'm going to sing about that non-call.

The Bruins showed strong determination throughout the game. That's why they were able to score twice in the 3rd period. They stuck to the way they'd been playing in the 2 prior periods. David Krejci scored his 13th, Brad Marchand his 18th. In his last 25 games, Marchand has scored 14 goals. He scored 4 goals in the first 31 games of the season. I think he's moved on from the loss of Tyler Seguin, on and off the ice.

In overtime Jarome Iginla nearly won the game. He showed a Hall of Fame scorer's patience. He was in the crease with an open net in front of him, Jaroslav Halak on the far post. Iginla had to handle a pass with his skate to settle it, and showed great instincts by not kicking it in. He knew he had plenty of time to receive the pass, settle the puck, and tap it in with the blade of his stick, and that Halak didn't have enough time to move from post to post to stop him. However, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had enough time to skate over and extend the blade of his stick between the puck and the net, and broke the play up. Give credit to Pietrangelo for the game-saving play.

That play didn't make SportsCenter. None of the plays did because this game wasn't good enough for SportsCenter.

One more game until the Olympic break. The Senators play the B's Saturday afternoon at the Garden. The B's will go into the break with a nice lead in the division, the second best record in the conference, and a near win against the third best team in the West. Not bad. Most of the roster will rest, Chara (Slovakia), Krejci (Czech Republic), Rask (Finland), Bergeron (Canada), Eriksson (Sweden), and Julien (Canada) will work. That means key players like Lucic, Iginla, Marchand, and Boychuk can recharge their batteries for the stretch run.

Photo Credit:
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

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