Outside of Phil Kessel, the ex-Bruin that the fans look forward to seeing the most is Joe Thornton. Including yesterday’s 2-0 blanking of the B’s, the three times Jumbo Joe has returned to Boston, his Sharks have always come out on the winning end. “It is just a win. Maybe the first time I was here, you wanted to win the first one. But now it is just any other road game, I think.”
Yesterday had that defensive feel of a playoff game. Neither team gave up many offensive chances and the Bruins gave up a season low 17 shots on goal. “Not many opportunities both ways. It was a battle tonight of two teams that are heavy teams.“ Tim Thomas continued his season long stellar play but the offense in front of him was absolutely shut down.
With the Bruins killing an early penalty, they had the the games first good scoring opportunity. Mark Recchi came oh-so-close to scoring a short handed goal but lost control of the puck after beating Annti Neimi to the forehand. He just couldn’t tuck it into the open net. Later in the Shark power play while attacking the Shark blueline, David Krejci and Blake Wheeler lost the puck and the Shark transition proved deadly for the Bruins. After the neutral zone turnover, Ryane Clowe brought the puck over the Bruin blue line and found Logan Couture in the slot. His backhander, through a screen beat Thomas on the stick side. On his goal Couture said, “Thornton made a good drop pass to settle through the middle. It kind of set their defense back. It gave me time to cut to the middle and really get a better angle on the backhand on him. He was moving with me. I don’t know if it went through him or underneath his blocker but I saw he got a piece of it but it ended up in the net.” The assists went to Ryane Clowe and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the play and Joe Thornton wasn’t even on the ice so I don’t know what he was saying.
Milan Lucic chipped a shot wide during a power play late in the first period. He had almost the whole net to shoot at but just flipped the puck wide. That was really the last, best chance the B’s had all afternoon. The Sharks really used their size to shut down the Bruin offense.
The Sharks had a goal called back during the second period when Ben Eager got caught up with Thomas in the crease and that was all until Devon Setoguchi scored in the empty net with only two seconds left in the game.
One part of the game the Bruins the didn’t help themselves was on their power play. On four chances, they mustered only one shot on goal. Their lack of results with the man advantage led to the sellout crowd booing them on what was their last chance of the day.
The Bruins are home for three of their next four games. Two of them are at home this upcoming week and all four are Original Six matchups. In what will be a battle for the Northeast Division, the Montreal Canadiens will be here on Wednesday. The Bruins currently lead the Habs by only two points. Then it’s a home and home with the Detroit Red Wings. The Garden hosts a rare Friday night hockey game when the Wings come to town on the 11th.
How did I start this update?
Outside of Phil Kessel, the ex-Bruin that the fans look forward to seeing the most is Joe Thornton.
Yep. After the B’s make a quick trip to “the Joe” next Sunday afternoon, it’s another version of Kesselmania when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. It should be a fun four games and at this time of the season, they really start getting important. First the Habs for the division, the the home and home battles with Central Division leaders and finally the chance to “keep the Leafs near the bottom of the standings”. For those who have forgotten, the Bruins own the Leafs first round pick in the 2011 NHL draft this upcoming June in Minnesota.
Thank you Kessel.
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Written by Jim Mulligan