What just happened? The Bruins not only beat the Penguins in game one, but they shut out the Pens in game one. The anticipation for game one was getting on everyone’s nerves, or maybe that was just me. Everyone would proudly boast that the Bruins were going to win, but there was a nagging doubt.
Michael Felger expressed it in a way I can identify with. He said the his heart was pulling for the Bruins, but his head was logically figuring the Penguins would take it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that this is only game one. Anything can happen in the next three/four/five/six games. But again, what the heck did we just watch?
The Penguins came out trying to play a mockery of what “Bruins hockey” is, and it backfired. If they had focused on playing to their offensive scoring strengths, we may have been looking at a different outcome tonight. However, they decided to try and put on this tough guy front and beat us at our own game. I don’t know why they thought Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were the guys for the job, the first trying to push our goaltender around and the next picking a fight with Bergeron? I’m still confused. It could be because Matt Cooke was thrown from the game.
Now I could go on a tangent about how Matt Cooke plays dirty and how much I hate him, but then Marchand went and made the same hit minutes later. Marchand was arguing that he “pushed” his player as opposed to Cooke who slammed into McQuaid. It doesn’t matter. The point is, hits from behind aren’t safe. Cooke should have expected to get thrown with his past history. Marchand could have received a similar five minute penalty, or what have you, because he just watched Cooke get thrown, he should have known better.
Also there is going to be no extra punishment on Cooke. Bummer, I really would like to see him thrown from this series before he takes a run at another guy who wasn’t as lucky as Adam tonight.
On a more positive note, can we just talk about what a ROCKSTAR Tuukka Rask was tonight? I mean there were some that were pure luck that didn’t go in (Chara’s horrible turn over being one), and the million posts Malkin hit tonight. Thirty saves tonight for Tuukka, and the one that stands out is when he jumped at Crosby, and made the initial save, and then made the save on the rebound. He came up big on so many levels tonight. The highlight reel of tonight’s game has GOT to include a number of his saves tonight. He had a crazy glove save too. I cant get over it.
Crosby must have awoken a a fire in Rask tonight. That shit Krej.
Speaking of David Krejci, he reminded all of his haters why we keep him around. Two goals tonight (the third from Nathan Horton), and his team recognized his efforts when Tuukka awarded him the Rangers player of the game jacket. When asked post game how he was able to keep such a level head and not get panicky during the games he responded “I don’t know… That’s just how I play.”
He was also compared to Crosby, which he declined. He went on to defend himself by saying that Crosby and Malkin “are the best players in the world. We don’t have guys like that. We have a team. We play as a team.”
A few other things I wanted to touch on before I wrap this up. The first thing has to be Shawn Thornton winning a face off against Crosby. I laughed. Granted, during the game they showned that Crosby had only won like a handful out of 14. The fourth line facing off against Crosby was amusing enough, but they held their own.
Also Torey Krug standing up for McQuaid was just the best. After Cooke’s hit on McQuaid, Krug gave Cooke the first shove before Kelly came in and roughed him up. D-pairs for life! Krug may be 5’9 but he’s built like a truck and will stand up for his teammates, something that is always a welcome sight on the Bruins bench.
Andrew Ference was back tonight. He managed to even rally up an assist on the first goal. This isn’t good news for Matt Bartkowski who was looking forward to playing his hometown team, but it is good for Ference. Claude might throw him a bone depending on how the series progresses as Bart has proven he can pull his own weight.
However Krug’s offense and speed are more in demand. The power play looked much different with Krug flying up from our end with the puck as opposed to Chara taking his sweet time to move with the puck. AND KRUG’S AWESOME SIDE STEP. OH MAN. Greatest. He has a finesse and patience with the puck that is just beautiful.
Side note, for those of you who don’t know. Tomas Vokoun is actual the backup goalie for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled last round for being awful. Needless to say the goal tending is definitely their Achilles’ heel, and the Bruins need to SHOOT to get goals.
As long as the Bruins keep their heads on their shoulders, realize that this series is going to be a tough, apparently physical, battle, and play the full 60 minutes like I believe they did tonight, they can beat the Penguins.
We’ll see what Monday brings.