Big Boy Win.

The Boston Bruins welcomed the surging Tampa Bay Lightning last night, and came away with a resounding 4-1 victory. The Bolts came in having won 9 games in a row. They already post a whopping 102 points. The Bruins are the next best Eastern Conference team with 85. Didn’t matter on this night, as the Bruins stifled the Lightning from the get go.

I was just hoping they’d keep it close, but from the get-go they were all over Tampa, out-shooting them 32-9 after two periods. Jake DeBrusk was the only Bruin able to sneak one past Tampa Net-minder, Louis Domingue. Domingue was having himself a career game, making highlight reel save after highlight reel save. Finally DeBrusk snuck one through in the Second.

I can’t remember the exact stat, but through the first two periods, I believe Kenny Albert mentioned the Bruins had only allowed two shots by Tampa forwards. Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, Tyler Johnson, Palat, and countless others. They could only muster up two freaking shots from forwards.

Tampa woke up to start the Third Period, finally applying consistent pressure on a Rask and the Bruins. Able to withstand the pressure, Noel Acciari stuffed a rebound past Domingue to break open the floodgates.

Less than a minute later, Patrice Bergeron snuck in a Five Hole one-timer past Domingue to make it 3-0 B’s.

Once again less than a minute after Bergeron’s goal, Brad Marchand sprung free on a breakaway to put it away:

The game would finish 4-1, as the Bruins finish February 11-0-4. The last time they had a perfect month was November 2011. It’s been just a sensational month. Our deadline acquisitions played well again, but registered 0 pints between the two. I actually really like Charlie Coyle. He is a very very good Third Line Center. He’s got size, decent skating ability, and generates scoring chances. Problem is his linemates fucking BLOW. Backes is too slow, and Nordstrom just is one of the worst hockey players I’ve ever seen. Due to some re-shuffling thanks to Kuraly missing a few days with an injury, we finally see a decent player on Coyle’s wing in, Peter Chelarik. The past three games there was Nordstrom and Backes flanking Coyle. 🤢………🤮.

How embarrassing, Nordstrom. Whole fucking net to shoot at, and flops it into Domingue’s glove. Shame on you, Joakim. Domingue got lots of praise for this save, he got lots of help from Nordstrom.

So moving forward I’d like to see some other combinations, and giving Charlie Coyle a legit player in his wing. Bruins next game is Saturday at TD Garden against the rotten, New Jersey Devils. The Bruins look to cement their place as one of the NHL’s elite over the last Month of the season.

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Let’s See What They’re Made Of.

Two nights ago the Boston Bruins dismantled the San Jose Sharks, 4-1 at TD Garden. The game featured sexy goals, big hits, and plenty of bad blood. The Bruins first game back from a lengthy road trip brought plenty of emotion, especially from the Captain.

41 year old Captain, Zdeno Chara, and San Jose Shark Diva Evander Kane squared off in the Third Period. The fight was brewing all game, as Kane was running around picking fights with multiple Bruins once the game was out of hand at 4-1. A second period flurry of goals from McAvoy, DeBrusk, and Marchand put the game away. It was the Captains bout with Kane that put the icing on the cake.

At 41 the big guy can still peat the piss out of anyone. It’s much more rare than in the past, but he is still just too strong for anyone in NHL. Kane got a head start by knocking Z to the ice, but Z got up like it was no problem. He then proceeded to beat the bag out of Kane causing TD Garden to go nuts. Throwback city, it was great.

Tonight will be the biggest measuring stick the Bruins will have faced in some time. They played some solid Western Conference teams on that trip, but tonight they’ll play the best team in the NHL. Tampa Bay comes to town having won last night in New York. Tampa has an astonishing 102 points already. It’s still February. They are historically good, with Stamkos, Point, Hedman, and Kucherov leading the way. Tonight we’ll see how the Bruins stack up. We will get a good look into weather or not the Deadline acquisitions will make an impact.

In his first game as a Bruins on Tuesday, Marcus Johansson looked like he belonged. He certainly is flashy enough with the puck on his stick to make things happen. He did so by contributing an assist on DeBrusk’s goal.

Hopefully he keeps it up, and builds on a solid debut. While he wasn’t who I wanted the Bruins to grab at the deadline, he came pretty much as advertised. Super skilled, crafty with the puck on his stick.

Charlie Coyle has been good so far, problem is Cassidy is hanging this guy out to dry. His line mates have been Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes. Both are just terrible. Coyle is playing well, carrying that line, but he is being held back by these two stiffs. Hopefully the following games we will see legitimate hockey players on his wing like Peter Cehlarik. Regardless, tonight will be a great test to see if they will have any shot to push Tampa in a Playoff series. I am not holding my breath.

Wholesale Changes Needed?

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It’s been awhile since we last discussed puck.  Last evening, the Boston Bruins lost their third game in a row, all within the Atlantic Division (Detroit, Florida, Tampa Bay).  They are still holding onto a playoff spot right now, as they are 14-10-4  good enough for 32 points.  Problem is, the Atlantic Division sports the three best teams in the Eastern Conference in the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Bruins are going to have to push for a Wildcard playoff spot, and why is that you might ask?

Easy.  Lack of talent.  This same time last year, we were watching the beginning of a magical run for the Bruins, which skyrocketed them up to the top of the East.  They had a crop of young guys come up through the system, and contribute right away.  Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Ryan Donato, and Anders Bjork all got time with the big club, and performed well.  Bjork is the only exception as an injury derailed most of his season.

First culprit, Danton Heinen.  Heinen amassed 47 points in his Rookie season, which is VERY good.  This season he has regressed badly with only 5 points total.  Heinen’s game is often very quiet, so when he’s not scoring, you can’t even recall if he even took a shift.   He is a very soft player, who often gets pushed around.  Although I saw a lot of good things from him last season, his decline started in February of last year.  He’s never really recovered.  There were trade rumblings with his name last Summer, which probably should have been investigated further.

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Ryan Donato was a late season addition last year, coming out of Harvard and the U.S. Development Program.  Donato contributed right away in 2018, as he managed 9 points in 12 Regular Season games with the Bruins.  He looked ready to slot into the Top 6 no questions asked.  He was forced into the Press-box during the Postseason, simply because it was just too soon to expect him to be ready for Playoff Hockey.  When the Bruins became strapped for secondary scoring, he was inserted into the Lineup as desperation measure.  He slotted into 3 playoff games Registering 0 goals, 0 assists, and 0 total points.  This season, Ryan has not only stalled, but it looks like he has regressed.  He’s managed a measly 2 goals in 15 games with the Bruins this year.  He’s been so bad he was sent down to Providence for a 10 game stint.  It’s a shame, because he was supposed to be an addition to the Top 6.   Much like Heinen

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Anders Bjork is another skilled forward, who was supposed to slot into the Top 6 eventually in his time in Boston.  Bjork is a small winger, who is seen as pure goal scorer.  In 30 games with the Bruins in 2017, Bjork netted 12 total points.  He wasn’t that great, but was slowly coming along as a rookie.  Eventually he was sent to Providence for development, where a shoulder injury ended his season early.  Fully healthy this year, Bjork has regressed.  With only 1 goal, and 3 total points after 20 games, Bjork was sent to Providence for development.  Not a good sign for him, considering the Bruins only employ three forwards who can score.

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Under-performing prospects is severely hurting the Bruins, as they do not have a good forwards outside of their Top Line. Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak is the best line in hockey, and can literally score at will.  It is the main reason the Bruins are in a playoff position at this point.  That singular line.  Other than that, there really is nothing.   It is a big problem, because as always the Bruins are banged up.  Almost all of their Defensemen have spent time on IR this year.  McAvoy, Chara, Krug, and Kevan Miller have all been out for an extended period of time.  In addition, Patrice Bergeron has been out for the past month.  So, now the first line has been hamstrung.  Colby Cave (whom I despise) has been Centering the Top Line.   Cave is an Un-Drafted Free Agent, and it is for a reason.  Shockingly he has only 2 lousy assists from his 7 games in Boston.  Dude sucks.  Yet he gets to Center Pastrnak and Marchand at will.

While there is decent skill in David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk there isn’t anything in terms of talent in the remainder of the Forward Group.  It is a plethora of 4th liners, whom they hope will somehow explode into talented, corner picking snipers.  They even claimed another fucking scrub on waivers yesterday:

BOOOOOOOOO.  This guy is nothing but a JAG with speed, whom the Bruins are hoping to be a stopgap.  The Bruins have the Fourth Line covered.  They’ve got $6 million dollar, David Backes roaming the fourth line Right Wing, they’ve got Chris Wagner and his 3 points, they got Sean Kuraly and his 4 points, and they got Joakim Nordstrom with his scorching 5 points.  Nordstrom has been the hand-chosen garbage Bruins player that gets Top Line minutes.   There is one every year, Riley Nash, Tim Schaller, Tommy Wingels, and on and on.  The struggles with this team are all about talent.  They do not have it.  Their highest paid player (David Krejci) scored his 3rd goal last night.  It was his 1st in 18 games.  Unacceptable.

The Bruins are at a Crossroads right now.  They have an aging core of players from the old regime, and overvalued prospects.  This next group of games is crucial for their season.  Toronto and Ottawa back-to-back this weekend, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Montreal next Weekend, with the Arizona Coyotes in between.  More losses than wins out of this stretch would have me contemplating major changes.  The longer the struggles go on, the more I think it is a talent issue.  The kids who were so highly touted, are simply not very good.

Don Sweeney should be doing his damnedest to trade off pieces that weigh the team down.  First two I would trade being Krejci and Backes.  Going to be near impossible to do so, as they both suck, are old, and make too much money.   Backes has 5 points this year and has 3 years at $6 million per year left on his deal.  Not many teams are going to be willing to take him.  There is a chance a struggling team would take him on simply to reach the Salary Cap Floor, or they’ll take on Backes to get another asset.  The Bruins could also retain money from his Salary.  They could trade him to a playoff contender and split his $6 million with the team they are trading him to.  More incentive to acquire the player, if his cap hit is half what it could be.

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Krejci will have more suitors on the trade front, but he has a massive salary and No-Trade Clause to deal with.  He would have to be asked to waive it in order to be traded.  He’s also got 3 more years at $7.25 million per year.   Krejci has more upside, especially for contenders looking for depth heading into the playoffs, but again the Bruins would maybe have to eat some of his Salary, or even toss in a prospect to get anything of value in return.

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Third guy is Tuuka Rask.  Its time to move on from Rask.  He has had yet another roller-coaster year, starting out really poorly and being forced to take a Leave of Absence.  Since he has come back, he has been rock solid.  If he keeps playing well, some Playoff team with weak Goaltending would potentially spend some assets to add him at the Trade Deadline. Similar to the other two stiffs Rask has 3 years at $7 million per left on his contract.  Same workarounds would have to apply.

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It’s not over quite yet for the Bruins, who are just starting to get healthy on Defense, and will be getting Bergeron back soon.  They very well could continue to maintain their position in the playoff standing.  If they continue to slip, I just don’t think they have the talent to climb out of it.  Hopefully I am wrong about this and the kids go on tear here to calm everyone’s nerves.  With each passing game, I am starting to think it may be time for the Bruins to pack up shop on the 2019 season.  There is no other options within the Organization to help remedy the lack of scoring.  Big problem, because they had a chance to draft Offensive Super-Stars. 2015 had the Bruins drafting three times in a row.  In what was the deepest draft in my entire life, Don Sweeney reached on two of three of those picks.  13 was Zboril who got called up this year when every single Bruins Defenseman was hurt.  He was not even close to being ready, and it’s his 3rd year since being drafted.  Un-Drafted Connor Clifton looked better in his Call-Up.    Clifton looked pretty awful in his stay.

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Zach Senyshyn hasn’t even earned a call up. Jake DeBrusk is a nice player. He is able to provide that coveted secondary scoring, is ballsy, and plays with energy. All that’s great, but those two whiffs. That’s a slap in the face. There is elite talent at forward everywhere around where the Bruins selected. Two stiffs, and a solid NHL player. You pick three times in a row you better hit on two of three. The Bruins whiffed.

Let’s hope this upcoming week isn’t the death of the Bruins 2019 season, and beyond.

John Tavares Meets With Bruins Brass in LA.

It’s been a while since we talked Bruins, even longer since we talked at all.  We are smack dab in the middle of the NHL Off-Season.  Last week started it all off with the NHL Entry Draft.  The Buffalo Sabres finally caught a damn break, and won the Draft Lottery.  They used the number 1 pick on Swedish Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

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I don’t want to focus on the NHL draft, but just know this kid is going to dominate.  He’s a top end Defenseman, who can play at an elite level in both ends.  It might take time to develop, but he will be amazing. Buffalo has a plethora of top-end young talent.   Eichel, Ristolainen, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, and now Dahlin.  Don’t forget Casey Mittlestadt another top end prospect.  Buffalo, headed in the right direction for eternity.

Now, to the real story here.  John Tavares, the Number 1 overall selection in the 2009 NHL draft is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1st.  For much of his time in Long Island and Brooklyn the Isles have sucked.  He’s only made the playoffs three times in 9 total seasons.  He’s only made it to the second round once, and his Isles were bounced in 5 games.  All of that doesn’t matter.  John Tavares is a fantastic hockey player.  He’s lived up to every bit of the number 1 overall tag. Johnny TStats speak from themselves.  4-time 30 goal scorer, scored 28 goals in the lockout shortened season, and even put up a solid 6g-5a-11pts in his only half decent run with the Islanders.  To go along with the goal scoring ability, John is not as good but in the same ballpark as Patrice Bergeron defensively, and in the Face-off Circle.  This is what Baseball weenies would call a five tool player.

2018 was yet another disastrous season on the Ice for the Islanders.  They failed to qualify for the postseason, General Manager Garth Snow stepped down, and Head Coach Doug Weight was axed.  Dusty fossil, Lou Lamorillo was hired as GM to replace Snow.  Lamorillo was the original GM of the New Jersey Devils, and most recently helped rebuild in Toronto (It was done for him by the time he got there).   Most recently, Barry Trotz was named the teams new Head Coach just a week after winning the cup with the Washington Capitals.

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Those hires are great for the fans as it gives them hope.  For me, Lamorillo didn’t do dick in Toronto (how hard is it to draft Auston Matthews?).  Most other pieces were in place for him, but he still had massive holes along the Blueline that he never filled.  For a playoff team, that d corps up in Toronto was just horrendous.  In New Jersey, Lamorillo built a juggernaut that competed for cups from the mid 90’s to mid 00’s.  After that?  Mediocrity.  Since 2003 the Devils have been mediocre at best.  They made a cup run in 2012, but lost in 5 games to the LA Kings.  From that point on, the Devils iced some of the most boring, untalented hockey teams I have ever seen.  Overall Lou will bring some stability to the Isles front office, and he certainly won’t be worse than Mike Millbury, or Garth Snow.  I just don’t know that Lou has his fastball anymore.   These two additions certainly would show Tavares that the Islanders mean business in turning this thing around, but that didn’t stop him from using this week to listen to a pitch from 5 teams.  I hadn’t been keeping tabs on it, as I just figured why on earth would he come to Boston?  The Bruins ownership are cheap pricks, they NEVER sign big money guys.

Sure enough, Monday Morning saw the Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leaves, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders all be listed as teams he would meet with in LA.  At first, I said, “No Cap room” WRONG.  Tavares will command probably the second highest per year salary in the NHL.  McDavid makes $12.5 million, and Tavares would command around $11.  The Bruins have $12 million free at this very moment, out they would be able to sign Tavares and NOT be forced into making any moves if they want to. This is unlikely, as they would definitely have to move on from a hefty contract like David Krejci, David Backes, or both. They have some young guns that will need to be re-signed after their rookie deals (McAvoy, Donato, BeBrusk, Heinen).

This a good sign for Bruins fans, even though Jimmy Murphy is a raging tool bag, a few other outlets have reported the same.

Now, do I think John Tavares will sign with the Boston Bruins? Probably not. John is likely just doing his due diligence while mulling the extension with the Islanders. But I do think if he were to leave Long Island, the Bruins have a damn good shot.  The Bruins have a perfect mix of veteran talent under contract for multiple seasons, and young up and coming pieces that should help the Bruins contend for many years.  You got Marchand locked up for 8 years at only $6 million per season, Pastrnak is locked up for 5 more years at $6.6 million, and Bergeron is locked in for 4 years at $6.8.  The key pieces would not have to be moved.  Sure some maneuvering would need to be done, but that is more than ok.

Now we wait.

 

You Can’t Beat Us!

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Bruins fans were treated to another win over the Big Bad Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night, at TD Garden.  With the 4-2 victory the Bruins move into first place in the Atlantic Division, and Eastern Conference.  It is the first time since October 18th that a team not named the Tampa Bay Lightning are in first place.  This is the third time the Bruins have beaten the Lightning this season, and they haven’t lost to them since 2016.

Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara were both game time decisions, and Butchy decided to give them both one more day to rest.  Neither suited up for this one, but David Backes returned to the lineup after missing about a week due to a cut on his leg.  Matt Grzelyck surprisingly suited up for this one after taking the brutal hit from Josh Morrisey just two nights prior.

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The first period saw the Bruins come out with major jump in their step.  They were all over Tampa, generating turnovers, and quality scoring chances.  The Bruins out-shot the Lightning 17-6 in the first period.  Finally with less than a minute to go, Tim Schaller buried home a rebound that was sitting behind Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it 1-0 Bruins.

Less than 40 seconds later David Pastrnak added another Power Play goal to make it 2-0 Bruins.  At the end of the period the Bruins scored two back breaking goals.

The two goals lit a fire under Tampa’s ass, as they picked up their skating in the second period, and the game got physical.  Just under 2 minutes into the Second Period J.T. Miller re-directed a gorgeous Nikita Kucherov cross-ice slap pass to make it 2-1.

This is where this one got interesting.  Both teams ramped up the physicality in the second period, and this lead to tempers flaring.  Bruce Cassidy has had a motto throughout the season which is, “No Passengers” .  Everyone must contribute, everyone must be emotionally invested.  Boy, did Tuukka Rask every show that he was emotionally invested into this one:

AHL MVP Cory Conacher overstayed his welcome in Rask’s crease, and well, Rask lost it.  A mini melee ensued, and Vasilevskiy even tried to get down to the Bruins end of the Ice to challenge Rask, but the officials would not let it happen.  There’s an unwritten rule in hockey that when there is a brawl/scrum, there should never be an odd man situation (one guy standing free).  That’s generally when the goalie from the opposing team has to skate down and challenge the other goalie.  We were robbed of a goalie fight here thanks to the fucking stripes.  Although, it is good to see there is a hatred brewing between these two teams.  Hell, David Backes challenged Bolt players on their own fucking bench!

The kicker?  David Pastrnak dropped the mitts with Lightning Defenseman, Dan Girardi.  Girardi leveled Bergeron in the Neutral Zone, and Pasta was willing to go with a much bigger, more experienced fighter in Giradi.  It was Pastrnak’s first career fight, and it would top off his Gordie Howe Hat-trick(goal, assist, and fight in same game). Pastrnak had never fought before, and obviously isn’t expected to be good at it.  Well he isn’t.  It wasn’t much of a fight, but it showed these guys are more than willing to stick up for one another.

With 8 minutes left to play in the third, and the teams playing 4 on 4 hockey, the Bruins completed the sexiest passing play I have seen in my 25 years:

Just a beautiful fucking goal, in which the Bruins toyed with the Big Bad Lightning.  A beautiful triangle passing play ending in a goal to make it 3-1.  First place was within sight late in the third.  The Bolts wouldn’t make it easy, as Victor Hedman squeaked home a wrist shot to make is 3-2.   This coming mere minute after the Bergeron goal.

Brutal fucking goal to give up.  Rask was locked in all game giving up that goal through his armpit is inexcusable.  The B’s would hold on to win 4-2 and take over first place in conference and division.

They may not finish the season in first place as they are only 1 point ahead of the Lightning, but the Bruins showed that they are ready for postseason play, and are in the Bolts heads.  You could see the frustration as the game went along.  The Bruins bullied them, and I cannot wait for the playoffs to start.  Initially I had thought the Lightning were a shoe-in to win the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup.  Tampa Bay is fucking soft.  The Bruins beat them soundly in each of the three match-ups this season, and haven’t lost since 2016.  For whatever reason, the Bruins have always matched up well with Tampa no matter how good or bad they are.  Tampa looks like a team that is starting to slowly run out of gas.  It will be interesting to see how far they are able to go.  They absolutely 100% have the talent to make it to the Cup finals.  It’s whether or not they have the balls.  The Bruins certainly showed they have the balls to beat you physically and on the scoreboard.

Bruins will take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow at TD Garden.   It looks like Cassidy is going to sit Chara and McAvoy again on Saturday, but they will travel to with the team to Philadelphia on Sunday.  Jake DeBrusk is slated to return per Butchy:

The Panthers are fighting for playoff position, as they come in 6 points out of the final playoff spot.  Should be a good one, let’s go Bruins!

What a Fucking Gong-Show.

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It was a spirited game last night in the Great White North.  The Bruins lost a barn burner 5-4 to the surging Winnipeg Jets in a shootout. A lot happened in this game, most of it wasn’t positive either. The Bruins got torched by the league video review center in Toronto, and lost another key player to injury.

Let’s start it off with the guys in Black and White.  They worked hard to earn the Jets first goal of the game.  Jet fourth liner, Brandon Tanev was banging the puck against Khudobin’s pad on a wrap around attempt.  Dobby held strong and the puck NEVER crossed the goal line completely.  For some unknown reason the Linesman patrolling the Blueline WAY away from the play, decided to call it a goal.  There is 0% chance a linesman standing at the Blueline or even Redline could clearly see if the puck went it.  The referee next to Khudobin called it no goal, but he was over ruled. Technically the original call on the ice was a good goal.

To break it down simply:  1-Tanev was banging the puck on Dobby’s pad, and the ref with the best angle waived “No Goal”. 2-A linesman in no mans land overruled the referee, calling it a goal. 3- The play was reviewed, and the goal stood because there is no conclusive evidence that the puck stayed out. It’s also pretty clear it didn’t go in, as the ENTIRE puck has to cross the line. You must see white between the goal line and puck.

The Bruins managed to keep their cool, and continue to play their game despite piss poor officiating. Later in the first period, the Bruins forechecking/tenacity really paid dividends.

What a great play by all of those involved here.  Savy David Krejci pressured the Jets defender, won the puck inside the attacking blue line, and tapped the puck to a streaking Ryan Donato.  Donato undressed Joe Morrow with a forehand to backhand fake, and fired a backhanded seed top corner.  It was 1-1 in the final minute of the first period.

The second period saw the Jets take a 3-1 lead.  Brandon Tanev added his second of the game and ex-Bruin, Joe Morrow netted his 6th of season.  The story of this period came at the very end of it:

Josh Morrisey slammed Grzelcyk into from behind in a textbook cheap-shot.  Not only did he launch himself into the back of Grzelyck , he turtled like a fucking fairy when Kevan Miller wanted to rip his head off. The NHL is so focused on removing fighting from hockey that players never have to worry about standing up for themselves after taking a cheapshot.  Morrisey should’ve had the piss beaten out of him by multiple Bruins but the stripes got in the way. Morrisey received a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct.  This meant the Bruins would start the third period with a 5 minute power play.  Josh Morrisey will not receive any sort of discipline for his hit.  Why? Who the fuck knows.  It was a dirty hit plain and simple.  Matt Grzelyck has been diagnosed with an Upper-Body Injury, and there have not been many updates to that diagnosis.  It’s a shame he got run like that, because Gryz was having a great season, quietly molding himself into a key defender.  He plays power play, penalty kill, and 5 on 5.  The kid can skate, and has incredible passing vision.  He will be missed.

The Bruins managed to score twice on the 5 minute Power Play to start the third period. Danton Heinen and David Pastrnak each scored to tie the game at 3 with a mere 2 minutes gone in the third.

Then, Nick Holden finally decided to show up.  It’s been almost a full month since the trade deadline, and Nick Holden was able to control himself for the most part:

While still on the Power Play from the Morrisey hit, Anton Khudobin was behind his own goal looking to stop a puck that was dumped in behind the net. Dobby fired it around the boards for Nick Holden at the hashmarks, and Nick Holden proceeded to handle the puck like a frag grenade. Winnipeg pounced on the loose puck, and scored short handed. Less than a minute after the tying goal from Pastrnak. The Bruins managed to secure another Power Play with about 13 minutes left to play, when Torey Krug stepped into a howitzer:

The two teams exchanged scoring chances for the remainder of the regulation, and overtime. The game would move on to a shootout.

Mark Schiefele scored on Winnipeg’s second shot attempt, and then Bruins Rookie, Ryan Donato showed he belongs by burying his first NHL shootout attempt:

Finally Patrik Laine ended the game by slipping a backhander through Khudobin’s pads:

Overall the Bruins battled hard against a team that’s just as good if not better. It’s a shame the game turned into a yard sale because of the officials, and someone like Matt Grzelcyk got hurt because of it. The officiating is still no excuse for the short handed goal that was given up in the third, or the other two legitimate goals the Jets scored.

Tune in on Thursday to watch the Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lighting from TD Garden. Tampa has 106 points, and Boston has 105. Can the Bruins continue to slap around the Bolts? Let’s go Bruins! First place on the line!

Tampa Bay Sucks.

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The Big Bad Lightning!  The Tampa Lightning, wire to wire have been the  the best team in the NHL.  They currently sit at 102 points, which is four ahead of the Bruins (98).  They added pieces such as J.T. Miller, and Ryan McDonagh at the trade deadline, and surely the up-start Bruins couldn’t keep up with Big Bad Lightning, right? Wrong.

Saturday saw the Bruins limp into Amalie Arena down Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, and Jake Debrusk.  Each one is a major piece to the puzzle for the 2018 Bruins.   DOES NOT MATTER.  The Bruins not only went to Tampa, and won, but they fucking emasculated the them.   3-0 final was the final.  With the win the Bruins move to just 4 points behind Tampa for first play in, well the NHL.  Personally, let Tampa have the Presidents Trophy.  This win just shows me how much more of a sound team the Bruins are than Tampa.

The game opened up with the Bruins hounding the Lightning all over the ice, despite being down so many key players.   Early on in the first period, Tory Krug fed a streaking David Pastrnak in the high slot.  Pastrnak took the puck to the cage, and shoveled a backhander around the pad of Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Early on things were looking great for the Bruins as they completely hounded the Lightning.  The Bruins gave up chances to the Lightning, but for the first time in awhile Tuukka Rask was in the zone, and the Bruins depleted D Corps played the best game they’ve had as unit all season healthy, or otherwise.

On the Power Play just over the halfway point of the season, David Backes banged home a Tory Krug rebound to make it 2-0.  Finally, early in the second Riley Nash slammed home a rebound to make it 3-0 Bruins.  It was their second Power Play goal of the game, and would effectively put the game on ice.

The Bruins would coast home in the third to seal 3-0 win over the best the NHL has to offer.  The scoreline definitely could be higher, but the if I were Tampa I’d be embarrassed.  The Bruins are missing so many key players, and lost ANOTHER (David Backes) mid-game.  They allowed the Bruins to bully them.  You had guys like Kuraly, Acciari, and Schaller drilling the Tampa D behind their own net, which forces mistakes, and causes havoc.  Not only did the fourth line throw their body around, the whole team was finishing their checks.  Physically wearing down the best team in Hockey.

Tampa is too good to keep down for long, and Tampa certainly had their chances to get back into the game.  The Bruins Defense and Goaltending shut down Kucherov, Stamkos, Miller, Hedman, Johnson, Palat, and Killorn all night long.  I would not be overly optimistic with Saturday’s effort if I were a Bolts fan.

Tune into NESN tonight @ 7pm to catch the Bruins against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Jackets sit at 4th in the Metropolitan Division with 83 points.  They are currently locked into the first Playoff Wildcard seed.

The Bruins will have a new Rookie making his debut tonight:

Top Forward Prospect, Ryan Donato has signed a 2 year Rookie Contract with the Bruins.  Donato is the Bruins top forward prospect after shining at Harvard University for three seasons, and for Team USA at the 2018 Olympics.  Most kids sign their rookie contracts and spend 1-2 years in the AHL developing their game.  Donato is a special talent.  Special enough that Bruce Cassidy is inserting him to tonights lineup:

 

Let’s go Bruins!