Saturday, November 19, 2016
Bruins Skate to Just About the Easiest 4-1 Win that You've Ever Seen, Apparently Against the Jets
I'm told that Saturday night there were two NHL teams competing at TD Garden but from what I saw there was only one. Boston (11-7-0) beat Winnipeg (9-9-2) 4-1 which doesn't even do it justice since the Jets managed only 12 shots on goal (!) for the entire contest. That was the fewest that the B's had allowed since Nov. 24, 2001 (Toronto) and the fewest that an opponent had here since way back on Jan. 12, 1981 (Minnesota). We'll forgive Tuukka Rask (11 saves, 11-2-0) for not getting a shutout since he probably fell asleep in the crease multiple times. Boston picked up its third straight win at home which seems like way more than that if you remember how wretched they were at the Garden last season.
Boston outshot Winnipeg 14-4 in the first period and even had a two-man advantage for 33 seconds but the Jets escaped with a scoreless frame. They weren't so lucky in the second period as the Bruins blitzed them with three goals. Matt Beleskey scored on a one-timer (his 2nd goal of the season) from Joe Morrow and Dominic Moore at 2:01. Brad Marchand notched his sixth goal of the season at 11:37 after captain Zdeno Chara hit him with a perfect stretch pass off the boards. Marchand lost the puck for a split-second as he went from forehand to his backhand around former Bruin Michael Hutchinson (34 saves) but he was able to recover in time to sweep it in the corner of the net. The B's put it out of reach with Patrice Bergeron's power play goal at 17:00. The one-timer was Bergeron's third goal of the season (snapping a 6-game scoreless stretch) and it came on another 5-on-3 advantage, assisted by David Krejci and Chara.
The Jets hardly ever showed any life, as evidenced by the fact that they didn't record their 10th shot on goal until there was less than nine minutes left in regulation. They were somehow fooled again by another stretch pass as Torey Krug found Tim Schaller at 1:41 of the third period for a 4-0 lead. Schaller's third goal of the season was also assisted by Austin Czarnik. If Rask could have recorded another shutout, he would have been tied with Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk for the NHL lead. Instead, he'll have to settle for tied with Montreal's Carey Price for the most wins in the league. Your boy Adam Lowry displayed a sliver of pride for Winnipeg as he banged in a loose puck at 17:20. Rookie phenom Patrik Laine and Toby Enstrom each assisted on Lowry's fifth goal of the season.
The B's got back over .500 at home this season (4-3-0) and they'll hope to keep that rolling as they host the Blues (10-6-3) on Tuesday (7, NESN), the Flames (7-11-1) on Friday (7:30, NESN) and the Lightning (12-6-1) in next Sunday's matinee (1, NESN). Keep in mind between passing out in food coma glee on Thanksgiving night that the Bruins will be in Ottawa (10-7-1) that evening (7:30, NESN) to entertain us all. What says Happy Thanksgiving more than a game against the Senators? The meetings with St. Louis are always rare but usually solid (since they play very similar styles) plus this will be the first time that former Blues captain David Backes plays against his old team so that'll be interesting.