After missing the first twenty three games Marc Savard returned to center a line with Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder on his wings and oh boy did the Bruins find their offense. Seven different goal scorers (Krejci scored twice) helped two Lightning goaltenders get their necks sunburned from all the red lights shining behind them.
The first period was a close, chippy period. Shawn Thornton was very close to dropping the mittens just four seconds into the game and there were many scrums at both ends of the rink after the puck would get tied up. Just like Wednesday in Philadelphia, the Bruins gave up a solid offensive chance within the first minute of the game. Tim Thomas was incredible making some acrobatic saves to keep the game scoreless. The team has to come out stronger – both of these wins in the last two nights could have been different if Philly or Tampa score within that first minute of the game. The legitimate scoring opportunities the two teams had early on are not a good sign for the black and gold. They have to come out stronger and not allow the opposition to attack the crease the way they have been. I feel like I’m copying Ken Dryden during the 1980 Olympics but it seems like the team is relying too much on Tim Thomas to make the save early on.
It’s weird to say but the turning point in the game was with 20 seconds left in the first period. Dennis Seidenberg carried the puck and gained the center red line. Then he dropped his shoulder and appeared to dump the puck around the boards behind Mike Smith. As Smith left his crease in advance of playing the puck behind the net, it was then that he realized that Seidenberg shot the puck on goal and not behind it for a 2-0 Bruin lead late in the period. When asked about his surprise goal, Siedenberg said, “…I tried to sell the rim and he went for it obviously. So it wasn’t too hard though.”
So instead of going into the room 1-0, the Bruins had doubled the lead and the Bolts never recovered.
Victor Hedman sandwiched a goal in between Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton tallys in the second period. The Lucic goal was a perfectly executed three on two break. It was unfortunate that the league only gives two assist per goal because the outlet pass Johnny Boychuk made to David Krejci to get the 3 on 2 going was a dandy. Shawn Thornton once again leads the $100 Million dollar man in New Jersey, Ilya Kovalchuk, for the Maurice Richard trophy. Thornton’s goal while not asthetically beautiful, was classic workmanlike goal. His style of play will make him a folk hero in this town if he manages to finish his career here.
David Krejci and Michael Ryder scored unassisted goals within the first two minutes of the third period. Krejci’s second of the night chased Tampa starter Mike Smith as he had given up five goals on twenty two shots. Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler finished up the scoring getting the B’s to the final of 8-1.
Hopefully the Bruins don’t need some of these extra goals on Saturday night when they travel up to Toronto. Coming off these two wins against current playoff teams, it will be nice to get another one and keep the Maple Leafs down near the bottom of the league standings. How nice would another top ten draft pick be for the B’s next June in Minnesota? During the Christmas season, is it fair to say that Phil Kessel is becoming the gift that keeps on giving?
Many reports, including our Los Angeles King writer, had Marco Sturm traded from the B’s to the LA Kings for a conditional draft pick. I didn’t post it for a couple reasons. First, the calls I made to people I know would not confirm it. Second and probably more importantly, as a member of the Bruins media, I get updates when the B’s do anything. It can be as “mundane” as calling up Jamie Arniel on an emergency basis and then sending him back to Providence as they did these transactions within this week. I never recieved anything from the team on Sturm and coupled with the fact my phone calls got me nowhere, I couldn’t print it.
Having said all that, the Bruins released a statement tonight concerning Marco Sturm and his status as a Bruin. Here is Peter Chiarelli’s statement in full:
“I am aware of the various media reports today regarding Marco Sturm. I can confirm that I spoke to Marco about waiving his no trade clause and have had discussions regarding Marco with other teams. I can also confirm that there is no trade in place with Marco. At this time, Marco is a member of the Boston Bruins and will continue to train with our team.”
What I heard in the press box tonight is that Marco Sturm failed his physical. Needless to say if I can get any more info I can confirm, I will post it here.
As far as Claude Julien is concerned he is a Bruin. Said Julien, “All I can say is, and I can speak on behalf of the whole team, is he’s part of our team. He’s nowhere else but with us, and that’s how we’re going to embrace him as one of our teammates. Just because there’s a possibility doesn’t mean he’s gone. I think Peter [Chairelli’s] got all kind of options, I would imagine, or I hope he gets options, and just because that’s been brought out doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, so that’s the way I’m going to approach it as if he’s still part of our team. And he is, and we’ll go from there. If it happens it happens. If it doesn’t happen and Peter decided to do something else, then he will have been with us as a member the entire time.” When asked if Sturm will skate with the team on Friday, “He’s with us. Yeah. Absolutely. There’s no ifs or buts about that.”
The Bruins will need to move roughly what Sturm makes to get under the salary cap once he comes off of LTIR. I think it’s a good move by the Bruins to try to move him. He’s in his 30′s now and he relies on his speed to make things happen. Well, this is his second knee injury as a Bruin so I’m thinking he may lose a step with age and these injuries. With the offense the Bruins have aquired since the end of last season, Sturm is expendable and the final remaining piece of the Joe Thornton trade from November 30, 2005 should be moved in what can only be a salary cap dump.
Some crazy stats from the night…
As a team, the Lightning was a -30…individually they looked like a bunch of good golf scores. There were three players at -1 and -3 and nine players at -2
The Bruins were a +30 with Horton and Krejci leading the way with a +4
Lucic, Recchi, Krejci and Ryder all had multiple point nights.
Bruins were 1-4 on the power play and a perfect 1-1 on the penalty kill
The only Bruin forwards NOT to score a point tonight: Greg Campbell, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard. All centers but Seguin is playing the wing.
They won’t all be like this tonight but it was great to see them follow the big win in Philly with tonight’s rout.
As always – Go B’s!
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Written by Jim Mulligan