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Thomas + Special Teams = Perfection

Posted By Jim Mulligan On Mar 28 2010 @ 12:48 am In Boston Bruins | 1 Comment

Finally.

Today’s matinee in Boston was very reminiscent of what the Bruins did to teams last year. With the power play going 3 for 5 (finally getting into gear) and a perfect penalty kill, the Bruins beat the Calgary Flames in every aspect of the game in a 5-0 shutout.

Dennis Seidenberg, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara scored goals on their first three power plays to put the Flames in a deep hole going into the third period. While discussing the power play, the always quotable Shawn Thornton said afterward, “…not we as in me but the team has been working on it for the last few days and it paid off, the guys did a great job. I think alot had to do with effort tonight with the guys winning battles and getting pucks back then getting pucks to the net.”

During their man advantages, the Bruins really made a point to set screens in from of Miikka Kiprusoff. On the first goal of the game, Marco Sturm had Kiprusoff’s view thoroughly blocked. Milan Lucic’s screen was the key on Krejci’s tally in the second period.  Zdeno Chara just beat  Kiprusoff over the blocker for the final Bruin power play game. Credit David Krejci, after taking Milan Lucic’s pass, for slowing the play down allowing the Flames defense to sag allowing the lane for Chara to step into.

Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi added third period goals to finish the scoring for the day. 

I don’t follow the Flames like I do some other teams so I was looing forward to watching Jerome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester.  These two are the bigger names on the Flames roster, were invisible today.  Said Iginla, “We have to run the table now.  It is games.  If we can get the seven points it will give us a good chance to be in.  We keep saying it, you have to hope you get in but we have to believe we can win one game and go in and compete.  If we get the first goal we have to keep going, if we don’t we have to keep going.  It is literally all game sevens now.  Other teams have done it in the past, run the table near the end.  We need to put together five or six wins.  We have done it a couple times this year.   We are going to need it now.  We have to move on and approach it a little bit differently.  That has to be the goal.  It is do or die now.”

From what I read after the Islander game and saw today, the Flames are done. They showed absolutely nothing today. An absolute disgrace for Flames fans out there.

Tim Thomas played his first full game in roughly two months and like the power play, he looked like the Thomas from the ’08-’09 season that earned him the spot on the Olympic roster. His rebound control, when there were any, was great. He put shots to the corner and out of harms way. He left nothing in the slot and for the most part suffocated the puck as it hit him.

*****

There was a buzz before the game as Marc Savard was making his first public appearance since the Matt Cooke cheap shot in  Pittsburgh. Having had a serious concussion that stopped my playing days in 2001 – I was never a threat to the NHL – I really felt bad for Savvy while he answered questions from the media. The first words I wrote down were “he sounds sluggish” and one of my friends at the press conference responded in my notepad “prize fighter” in reference to him sounding like he went 15 rounds with Mike Tyson and George Foreman.  Physically, he looked like pale, had no color and it sounded like he had to concentrate on every word he spoke. I felt that Savard was angry with Cooke’s disgusting, coward like hit . When asked if he has seen the hit and what his opinion was Savard responded, “Well, I have obviously viewed it a couple of times and I think it was a play that didn’t need to happen, obviously. To me it wasn’t a shoulder and I watched the [Mike] Richards on [David] Booth hit. I think that was a shoulder. I think mine was more of an elbow, so I think there was an attempt to injure there. I was, obviously, very unhappy with what happened and I think it could have been avoided very easily.”

Matt Cooke has openly admitted trying to contact Savvy immediately afterwards and Savard’s answer is, “Yeah, he has tried and he has tried to get my phone number and stuff like that, but from what happened I really don’t, right at the moment, have any interest in talking to him and that’s just how I feel. Maybe down the road, but right now, I am not feeling any better so I would rather just not talk to him.”

Definitely no love lost there and near the end of the press conference, Savard actually showed a little humor when asked if he would be back before the end of this year. “I just want to get well. Obviously I’d like to get back and help my team, especially on the power play. [laughs] I’m not looking at it right now like that, I just want to get healthy. I’m getting the fresh air, I’m doing the walking and stuff, but I need a couple clear days I guess before I can think about getting on a bike and stuff like that. So right now, like you said, I’m just getting better and taking it day-by-day.” Loved the fact he wants to get out there and help the anemic Bruins power play but no way do I want to see him back before next September. The next concussion isn’t far away now and like it or not, he would be a target in the playoffs. Why else does the NHL allow “upper or lower body injury” ? Teams don’t want to give away any weakness and the whole NHL world knows what his injury is. If he comes back, you know he would get the extra punch in the back of the head in a goal mouth scramble.

Marc – stay home for the summer. Get your health in order and get ready for Prague, CZ next October. Believe me when I say I know how much it drives my wife nuts when I forget mid sentence what I am talking about. Talk to Patrice, take his advice, stay positive and don’t risk another concussion so quickly after this one.

Keep an eye out for Shane Hoopfer’s [1]take on the Flames effort here in Boston today.

Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres on the Monday night. First time Ryan Miller comes to town after leading the United States to the silver medal in the Vancouver Olympics.

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