Monday, November 21, 2011
Bruins Return To Where They Hit Rock Bottom & Show How Much They Have Changed
I will never say it is easy being a Boston sports fan. On nights such as this one, we have to come up with a gameplan so that we can fully enjoy a Bruins-Canadiens game and the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
By watching the first period of the Bruins and then catching up on DVR at halftime, during commercials and after MNF had ended, I was able to glean some of the essence of Boston's (12-7-0) 1-0 win at the Bell Centre over Montreal (9-9-3).
Sure I could complain about not being able to fully appreciate another classic performance by B's goaltender Tim Thomas (9-4-0, 33 saves) who posted his second straight shutout, but when your favorite team has won nine in a row, does all that noise really matter?
This victory was particularly significant, winning streak aside, because the Bell Centre is where the B's truly hit rock bottom: on October 29 to be exact. After losing that night, the second of a home and home with the Habs, the Bruins fell to 3-7-0. They turned the calendar to November and they have yet to lose since then.
Most impressively, after falling to last in the Eastern Conference and the Northeast Division, Boston pulled themselves to the top of their division tonight along with third in the Eastern Conference. Not bad work for 21 days (when the streak began).
By all accounts, Thomas stole this game as Montreal outshot Boston 33-18, including 15-5 in the third period. The Canadiens had a power-play to end it as Rich Peverley picked up a cross-checking penalty but they couldn't convert (0-for-4 on the night).
Montreal goaltender Carey Price (17 saves) wasn't tested nearly as much but he failed to stop the one shot that turned out to be the difference.
B's defenseman Andrew Ference (2nd of the season) was the unlikely offensive star as he scored the game-winner at 15:41 of the first period. Sadly, there were no unintentional birds to be had. Montreal was about to be called for a penalty when Peverley found Ference jumping up from the blueline. He roofed/sniped it over Price's shoulder. Chris Kelly had the second assist.
The Bruins will look to extend this win streak to double-digits on Wednesday as they also wrap up this three-game road trip in Buffalo. You remember what happened the last time these division rivals met?
That was when Milan Lucic knocked Ryan Miller over. I'd say expect retaliation on the Sabres' part but they didn't do anything that night to stand up to Looch so who knows? It's hard to predict what that fraud Lindy Ruff and his charges will do.