Props to the Bruins for the Effort Last Night
posted at 3/30/2010 12:46 PM EDT
People can complain on this board all they want, but despite the loss last night, the Bruins actually played really well.
First, I'll start with the goals against. The first 2 goals against clearly deflected off of Wideman, giving Thomas little to no time to react. Maybe a sharper Thomas (aka getting more than 2 starts in the last 2-3 weeks) would have been able to track them down, but you still can't blame the guy. The third goal was definitely one Thomas needed to make a save on. As several people commented on, including Brickley during the broadcast, I'm surprised Julien went with Thomas. I understand wanting to get him on a role, but his numbers against Buffalo were not good this season. So if you think about it, two unlucky goals that he might have gotten to on a great day and one that he definitely should have had. Julien obviously made the change to boost the team rather than punish Thomas for his play. Last night spelled that Rask will no doubt be the #1 the rest of the way...
The offense played reasonably well. They were strong on the forecheck, produced turnovers in the offensive zone, worked the puck around, and took good chances for the most part. I also like to see the defense continuing their activity in the offensive zone. It's definitely something that has been missed for most of the year. There were several shifts last night where the Bruins held the puck in the offensive zone for a long time, working the puck around and setting up looks. Let's face it, Miller not only made a number of quality saves, but he really limited his rebounds. People can whine about Sturm not scoring on the penalty shot, but Miller is 9 for 10 in penalty shots this season. Sturm obviously made the mistake of trying to beat Miller 5-hole. You gotta stretch him out from post to post and get it high. And even then he's more than capable of making the save.
The emotion was there, and, after the Bruins have stumbled through most of this season, that's the biggest thing I want to see. I want the team to work harder than I would if I ever pulled on that jersey (HAHAHAHAH). And there's no doubt the effort was there last night. The Bruins took the body whenever they could, produced turnovers, and didn't shy away from gatherings after the whistle (FINALLY!).
All in all, the last 4 games have shown me that the Bruins are giving it their all to make the postseason. 2 shutouts for wins, 2 hot goalies for losses (Miller and Nittimaki). The thing that actually impresses me the most is that for how poorly Rask played and the amount of bad turnovers that were made in that game against TB, the Bruins still scored 3 goals and poured 50 shots on net. Even with 2 minutes left, you felt they were buzzing enough to have a chance. I know that TB is not a good team, but giving a strong effort like that is contagious.
What do others think about this? Agree or disagree with any points I make?