Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Bruins Win November, Beat Leafs 6-3
The Bruins made history last night, as they finished a calendar month without a regulation loss for the first time since 1969. It was all thanks to a great effort from Milan Lucic, David Krejci and once again Tim Thomas.
The Bruins beat the Leafs 6-3 last night yet again in dominant fashion. The win was the Bruins 12th in 13 games and third straight this season over the resurgent Leafs.
The first period started out relatively sluggish, however Nathan Horton had a prime scoring chance on a sweet feed from Krejci early on. The scoring chance could have been a nice boost for the struggling pair, as neither Krejci or Horton had a plus rating in their last nine games.
Toronto opened up the scoring on a power-play goal after Rich Peverley was called for a high sticking minor. On the man advantage it was Mikhail Grabovski scored his sixth of the year on a nice centering pass from MacArthur, who took a feed from Gunnarson inside the blue line before flipping it to Grabovski for the go-ahead goal.
The Bruins then found themselves down a man before killing that penalty and drawing two more, eventually capitalizing on the two-man advantage with a power-play goal from Milan Lucic. Setting up in a perfect triangle with Chara manning the point, Lucic and Tyler Seguin traded passes with the 7-footer, essentially playing catch with one another until they caught Gustavvson out of position. Lucic found open space and wristed the puck top shelf to knot the game at one.
Tim Thomas, who hasn't allowed more than three goals this season, made a monster stop shortly after, stoning Phil Kessel on a breakaway to keep the game tied.
The streaky first line kept it going in the second, as Krejci scored his fourth goal of the year, thanks in large part to the aggressive skating of Horton. Horton attacked the net after skating behind the Toronto defense, throwing the puck on net. After a save by Gustavvson, Krejci was right there to tap home the loose puck to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
After Lupul buried Kessel's feed on a two on one, the Leafs were right back into the game. Well, for a few minutes anyway. Chara, who is on a scoring tear took a pass from Krejci (bounce back game anyone) and snapped a wrister that fooled the goal judge, Jack Edwards, the fans and me. The goal lamp was not lit and the puck was stuck in the net giving the appearance that Gustavvson made the save. I guess the man with the world's hardest slapper has the hardest wrist shot too.
After a cheap goal from Matt Frattin, the Bruins fought back once again. The suddenly dangerous Benoit Pouliot scored the game-winning goal on a wrist shot from the slot. It was a nice shot but the play was made by Joe Corvo, who carried the puck alone into the Toronto zone and controlled the puck behind the net long enough to find the open Pouliot to make it 4-3.
Krejci then set up Lucic once again to make it 5-3. Brad Marchand added a empty netter for good measure.
All in all, it was a dominant effort, especially in the second and third period. The Bruins also picked up two big points against a division leader, with another chance to embarrass the Leafs at the Garden on Saturday night.
*This game seemed to take a step away from the whole "Kessel vs. Seguin" thing that seems to permeate through each amd every Leafs-Bruins game. Honestly, it's starting to get a little exhausting that these two are destined to be forever linked. I can only imagine how hard it must be for the two players, who field the same questions each time they play one another.
*Just like the Buffalo game, the pregame talk was mostly about how big this game was for Toronto. Tons of Canadian media thought that due to the Bruins absolutely housing the Leafs in the last two meetings, that they would somehow want this game more than the Bruins. Or that the Bruins might be content with winning only 11 out of 12. Newsflash idiots, first place was on the line! I don't give a shit how young, skilled and determined the Leafs are, they're still going to be the same team they've always been when the spotlight shines the brightest (frauds).
*Jack Edwards line of the night came on an open ice collision between Adam McQuaid and Fratten, when he dropped his "executive desk toy" line. Google it.
*Just when everyone start doubting the front line, they show up. Sure, they are very streaky at times, however when one has a good game the other two tend to follow suit, and we saw that last night. Are they inconsistent? Wildly. But that is who they are, deal with it.
* Pouliot has improved quite a bit since November 1st, ending the month with two game-winning goals out of his three total goals. He has played well enough in the last few games to momentarily quiet the "bust" talk.