Friday, March 28, 2014

Bruins Back to Winning With 3-0 Shutout Over Blackhawks

The Boston Bruins paid tribute to the City's two fallen Firefighters before and after the game. The B's wore BFD hats during pregame warm-ups, had a moment of silence, and the Boston Fire Department color guard presented the colors for the National Anthem. After the Bruins won 3-0, the BFD was named the First Star of the game.

The game itself was a return to strong, physical yet disciplined, 5-on-5 hockey. There were only 3 total power plays (2 for Chicago, 1 for the Bruins), compared with 12 in Monday's game against the Canadiens.

The Blackhawks might be the opposing team I have the most respect for. I like their style of play and they play that style well. This was a good team for the Bruins to meet after snapping their streak against Montreal. Talented enough for the B's to be focused and energized, and no distracting gimmicks or sideshows. Just good hockey.

And the Bruins played harder and played better. They scored by getting people in front of the net and getting inside position in front of the net. Basic fundamentals of the game. The 3 goals the B's scored weren't highlight reel goals, they were the type of goals you need to score in games against quality opponents.

Patrice Bergeron scored two of them. He has 9 in the month of March, to go along with 6 assists. It's almost a shame to see March end with how well he's been playing, among a number of other Bruins forwards.

That's 15 straight games with at least a point. That's also 50 wins on the season, tied with the Blues for most in the NHL. The Bruins have won 48 of their victories in regulation or OT (St. Louis has 42 ROWs).

The 50 wins is the most since the 2008-09 season (53 wins). It's only the 9th time in team history the Bruins have won 50+ games. The franchise record is 57 wins from the 1970-71 season. The Bruins have 9 games remaining to match that total, but it's a meaningless mark. That team lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Montreal. Regular season achievements are for the Canucks.

What does have meaning is that the Bruins are a win away (or a Lightning loss away) from clinching the division, which also clinches home-ice advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Bruins also have a 9 point edge over the Penguins for home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The B's take on the Capitals in Washington Saturday afternoon at 12:30.

It's a good thing the Bruins aren't in a tight playoff race because they end their season with 7 of their last 9 on the road.

Photo Credit:
Charles Krupa/Associated Press