On Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, the Bruins looked like a rested team that had been playing reasonably well. The Flyers looked like they just wanted to lose and go home. As spiritless as the Flyers played, I think an AHL team could have beaten them.
The Bruins took advantage of that, and never let themselves turn on the cruise control and coast to the end of the game. They continued to push and continued to score.
Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla each scored two goals. Chara's 10th and 11th goals of the season both came on the power play. If Chara continues to excel offensively, he might win the trophy for best defensive player in the NHL. Which speaks volumes about how the Norris Trophy is determined.
Iginla scores goals in bursts. Lots of the Bruins do. The B's now have 8 players with 10+ goals. This type of spread-out productivity can be an advantage, it can also be a weakness. If enough players are in a cold stretch, the team falls into a funk and leans heavily on Rask and the defensemen. This happened a few weeks ago. It also happened in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins also spread out their fights. Eleven Bruins have dropped the gloves this season.
One negative to take from this game is that the penalty kill allowed another goal. Since Dennis Seidenberg's loss the Bruins have killed 30 of 43 power plays, an abysmal 69.8%. Before Seidenberg's injury the B's had killed 86.9% of their penalties. The Bruins' PK has dropped to 14th in the NHL.
I'd like the Bruins to get a penalty killing defenseman. I'm not worried about "puck-moving" or "minute-eating," I want a guy who can play the penalty kill. That's the only requirement. The Bruins CANNOT win a Stanley Cup without a strong penalty kill.
The Bruins are on Long Island tonight to face the Islanders. The Islanders are third to last in the Eastern Conference but have beaten the B's twice this season.
Chris Szagola/Associated Press