Baptized in a firefight
Hot blood running cold as ice
44 minutes of target practice
All hell's breaking loose
The CD is “Endgame” and the song is “44 minutes”
If you look at the times of the Bruins first and last goals tonight, the actual amount of time played in the game is 47 minutes and 17 seconds. That's close enough to the 44 minutes the band is talking about.
It was like forty four minutes of target practice tonight at the TD Garden for the Bruins. I'd like to say the Maple Leaf goalie combination of Joey MacDonald and Vesa Toskala had to feel like ducks in a shooting gallery but the Bruins had twenty three shots on goal in the first two periods on MacDonald and ten in the third against Toskala. It was a matter of the Leafs not getting any timely saves from either netminder.
Led by Marc Savard's hat trick and single goals by Marco Sturm, Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi and Johnny Boychuk the Bruins took the Maple Leafs behind the woodshed and let them have it. Recchi and Boychuk had milestone goals with Recchi getting his 550th and Boychuk netting his first NHL goal. In speaking to Boychuck, he commented on scoring his first NHL goal, “Well it was a great pass from [David] Krejci. Basically I tried to shoot it as hard as possible.” I asked him if he had ever shot a puck harder as the puck exploded off of his one timer and he said a shot he took last night in Montreal had more on it.
Oh yeah. Phil Kessel returned to his old stomping grounds tonight. Phil wasn't a thrill to say the least. With no goals or assists and only two shots on goal and tied a team leading “-3″ – along with Jeff Finger and Matt Stajan. Both Kessel and head coach, Ron Wilson, had similar thoughts on Kessel's return. Said Wilson, “It’s difficult to say…he didn't obviously have his best game. But we weren't very good around him. We're not a one man show. We just didn't play very well and it certainly didn't help.”
Kessel wasn't as eloquent, “I didn't play well. I don't know what to say. I was disappointed. Obviously I didn't play well. You know, I guess we will try and get them next time.” Gee Phil, really?
The Bruins scored the first seven goals in tonight's game and after Savard's hat trick goal with 7:15 to go in the night, the only thing to wonder was if Tuukka would be able to shut them out. He played well throughout the night. He made two spectacular saves to keep the shutout going but in the end, it wasn't to be on this night. Niklas Hagman's goal with 4:14 remaining ended the bid and Mikhail Grabovski's deflection with 2:02 ended the scoring. Both Leaf goals were preventable. On Hagman's, the defense pair of Stuart and Morris crashed into each other giving Hagman the space he needed to snap off his wrist shot. On the second goal, Johnny Boychuk was late getting to Grabovski allowing him the space to get the clean deflection.
Tonight's three stars are as follows:
3 – Tuukka Rask. Solid thirty one save effort. He had no chance of either Leaf goals
2 – Patrice Bergeron – The best Bruin all season long had two more assists and was a “+2″
1 – Marc Savard – Led the team with a hat trick. His first since January 30, 2002 against the Detroit Red Wings. Savvy's smokin' hot right now. In his last six games, he has 4G, 3A for a total of seven points.
The Bruins are off the ice tomorrow and return to practice on Monday. They next play on Thursday against these same Maple Leafs. The Leafs return home for games Monday and Wednesday against the Thrashers and Islanders.
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About the Author
Written by Jim Mulligan