It's officially Tuukka Time. Tim Thomas hasn't seen game action since the Bruins lost at home to the Washington Capitals last Tuesday. Will he see game action before the Olympics? I'm going to go out and say Thomas will be the third goalie this month for team U.S.A. If Ryan Miller isn't careful, the Olympics will be Jonathan Quick's gig to lose. Will Julien continue to ride the Calder Trophy hopeful?
I said here after the Washington loss last Tuesday, for the Bruins to get into the playoff race, they would need at least eight points out of the twelve potential points available prior to the Olympic break. With consecutive home shootout losses, a shutout win in Montreal and tonight's 3-2 shootout win in Buffalo, the boys in Black and Gold have secured six points in the last four games. With upcoming games at Tampa and Florida I don't see why they can't get to my team established eight point mark.
Tonight's game in Buffalo brought me back twenty years to the old Adams Division days. There were goals, hits and a couple of fights. Led by a ex-Sabre, Daniel Paille, the B's jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Paille's first goal was a wrap-around that beat Miller on the far side. The key to this goal was Tyler Myers and Mike Grier both attacked Marc Savard while he had the puck, allowing Paille a free ride behind the net. Seven minutes later, it was Paille once again behind the net. His fed the puck to Derek Morris at the blueline. Morris went over to Zdeno Chara who's slapshot was tipped by an uncovered Paille cutting in front of Ryan Miller.
The Bruins were outshot 17-11 in the first period but it didn't feel like Buffalo controlled the play. The second period, inconsistent play once again reared it's ugly head. It was all Sabres in the second period as they scored two very similar goals to tie it up. Derek Roy and Tyler Myers both scored on long wrist shots between the faceoff circles where they both made a quick drag move to use the Bruins defensemen as screens.
The third period saw both teams have chances but the goalies were not giving in. Once again, the Bruins got a power play in overtime but weren't able to beat Miller. Tuukka Rask was beaten by Jason Pominville on the first shot of the shootout but was perfect after that. For the Bruins, Marco Sturm scored on the Bruins first shot and David Krejci beat Miller above the pad and below the catching glove.
Tonight's three stars – total homer call here
3 – Tyler Myers scored the game tieing goal in the second period. Solid game by the rookie defenseman.
2 – Paul Gaustad assisted on Myers goal. He was credited with 6 hits. I wasn't at the game so all I could seee was what was shown on TV. I didn't see what he did or didn't do behind the play
1 – Daniel Paille scored both Bruin goals. He has been very effective since being moved up to play on the Savard line. I guess they must have thought Paille was still a Sabre
Seriously? Paul Gaustad? I guess they couldn't pick tough luck loser Ryan Miller even though he saved 32/34 Bruin shots.
Tuukka Rask didn't do much to improve his goals against average or save percentage. He only stopped 43/45 shots and stopped 3/4 in the shootout. The only period the Bruins outshot Buffalo was the OT where they benefitted from a four on three power play. Nah. He doesn't deserve a star tonight.
Look for tonight's game by William Brouillette or Kevin Freiheit for a Buffalo Sabre point of view.
The Bruins released some news today concerning the start of next season. On October 9th and 10th the Bruins will play the Phoenix Coyotes in Prague, Czech Republic. The following is from today's Bruins press release:
BOSTON, MA – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League
Players Association (NHLPA) announced today that the Bruins will be part
of an unprecedented six NHL® teams – along with the Carolina Hurricanes,
Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose
Sharks – to open the 2010-11 NHL regular season in Europe as part of
2010 Compuware NHL Premiere™ and NHL Face-Off™. It will be the fourth
straight year the NHL will begin the regular-season with games contested
The Bruins will open the 2010-2011 NHL regular season against the
Coyotes at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 and
Sunday, Oct. 10. More information on the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere and
the 2010 Bruins preseason will be released at a later date, including
start times, ticket information, broadcast information, training camp
schedules and preseason schedules.
This will mark the first time in 50 years that the Bruins have played in
Europe. After the 1958-59 season, the Bruins and New York Rangers
embarked on a 10-city, 23-game European tour that included games in
London, Geneva, Paris, Antwerp, Zurich, Berlin and Vienna, among others.
The Bruins roster includes Czech players David Krejci, who will
represent the Czech Republic in the Olympics, and Vladimir Sobotka.
Also, team captain Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan hail from nearby
The Coyotes franchise (then the Winnipeg Jets) last traveled Europe in
September of 1994 when they went to Finland for a preseason tournament
against Finnish club teams. The Coyotes roster boasts Czech Olympian
Zbynek Michalek and countrymen Petr Prucha, Martin Hanzal, Robert Lang
and Radim Vrbata.
The Czech Republic routinely ranks among the top consumers of NHL
content outside of North America. Through the first three months of this
season, the Czech Republic ranked fourth among non-North American
countries in terms of percentage of the Internet population who access
NHL.com. The Czech Republic also ranks among the highest percentage of
visitors who consume video on NHL.com.
The NHL last played regular season games in Prague when the New York
Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning played two games there to open the
2008-09 regular season. A complete overseas history of the NHL is
available on NHL.com.
The other games featured in the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere™ are: The
Hurricanes and Wild at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday,
Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8 and the Blue Jackets and Sharks at the
Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8 and
Saturday, Oct. 9.
Look for the Phoenix Coyotes news and info by Matt Schott
Next up – Thursday night in Tampa against the Lightning
As always – Go B's!
About the Author
Written by Jim Mulligan