The Boston Bruins ended their 2017 Calendar year with an impressive 5-0 shutout win over the “dead from the neck up” Ottawa Senators. It was the second time the Bruins had played them this week alone. Saturday night they played the Sens in their barn, Canadian Tire Centre. The outcome of the game was the exact same however, a fucking beat down.
The first period saw both teams come out with some jump. The Senators were matching the Bruins scoring chances in the first. 8:13 into the first Ottawa Native, Ryan Spooner banged home a rebound to make it 1-0 Bruins.
Overall good puck movement on the power play. They found Krejci for a hard slapshot threw traffic from the point. Anderson couldn’t handle it, and Spooner was there to clean up the trash. With David Krejci coming back, it looks as if the Bruins will get a much needed boost on the Power Play.
At 3:23 of the second period, Noel Acciari made it 2-0 Bruins. The onslaught was on, when Ryan Spooner scored his second goal of the game. It came just two minutes after Acciari scores the Bruins second. Spooner won a puck race in the neutral zone, then beat Ben Harpur to the front of the cage. It was 3-0 Bruins.
The Bruins added two more power play goals in the third from returning center, David Krejci, and Patrice Bergeron. Tuukka Rask notched another shutout, and was named the NHL’s Player of the Month for December.
The game was honestly over long before the two third period goals. Acciari’s goal to make it 2-0 in the second took the wind out of the Senator’s sails. They then decided to not give a fuck for the next 18-19 minutes of play. When all is going well for Ottawa, they play what is called a 1-3-1 neutral zone trap. It is the most garbage form of play. Basically just slowly surround the puck in the neutral zone, until there is a giveaway. Rather than forecheck in the offensive zone, guys hold back to play the fucking trap.
Senators coach, Guy Boucher is famous for employing this tactic. The defending team lines three guys across their own defensive blue line, and one forward plays the man with the puck in front of the three lined up defenders. There is another defenseman that plays in his own zone behind the wall of three. It clogs the whole neutral zone to a point in which teams can’t function against it. Last season the 1-3-1 trap frustrated the shit out many teams, including the Bruins. It is a good system when guys are willing, and committed to playing that way. The 2018 Senators do not care. Last year, the B’s could barely get the puck into the offensive zone, against the Senators, and tonight they won 5-0. They have outscored the Senators 9-1 in their match-ups. Time to blow it up and get rid of the Bond Villain (Guy Boucher).
Tonight, tune it to catch the B’s in Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders. The Islanders come in at 20-15-4 record. That is good for 44 points. Right now, it’s towards the bottom of playoff seeding. It is a playoff spot none the less.
Tuukka Rask will be between the sticks for the Bruins tonight. Nothing has changed lineup wise, and why should it? The game in Ottawa really showed how important David Krejci is to this team. When he came back all of a sudden they started potting a few more chances on the powerplay, they have more overall depth, and Krech just makes players around him better. He slows the game down to his pace, allowing his linemates get into dangerous shooting positions. He’s got hands as soft as a feather. He can make any pass on the ice, and is good in the face-off circle. It has certainly been nice to have Krech back. Here’s to hoping he can stay healthy.
Veteran Net-Minder Jaroslav Halak will be manning the cage for the Isles. Bruins fans might not want to, but definitely keep an eye on Islanders Rookie Center, Matthew Barzal. In 2014-15 the Bruins had a chance to draft him on three consecutive picks., and did not pick him. It kind of stings, because Barzal has 13 goals, 23 assists, and 36 points in his rookie campaign. He tops all rookies in points, and is 1 goal behind Arizona Coyote’s forward Clayton Keller for tops in goals.
As always, let’s go Bruins!