A random last-minute decision turned into a ticket to the Bruins game today, a game drawing a lot of skepticism after the Bruins’ completely flat performance against the Penguins on Thursday. I’d almost resigned myself to breaking up with the NHL and settling for AHL and QMJHL hockey for the rest of the season.
Not necessary; the Bruins have temporarily won me back.
A 2-1 decision in which the game-winner comes off a Dennis Wideman backhand one-timer has a lot of Bruins fans questioning the tilt of the universe today, especially in a game where the referees seemed determined to break the record for ridiculous not-really-offsides offsides calls. Whatever. Miroslav Satan says no to referee fail by punching in a rebound from an Andy Ference shot in the second period. Dennis Wideman agrees in the third, with an assist from a long-pointless Vladimir Sobotka. Sobotka was a force to be reckoned with against the Rangers, exchanging blows briefly with Sean Avery and laying sweet wrecking-ball style hits on Dubinsky and Drury.
Of course this game was full of its share of stupid penalties; Chara took a double-minor for being too tall (high-sticking); Satan took a stupid one for hooking, but Patrice Bergeron, in the mix seemingly every time there was a scrum, took the best roughing penalty ever in the third period, when this happened:
Defending your teammate: you’re doing it right. Bergeron stepped in all day long, and so did most of the other Bruins; it was painfully obvious who cared about this game and who didn’t. Bergeron cared. Darn right.
The absolutely chippy play kept this game ridiculously entertaining despite the low score. Mark Stuart got boarded a few moments into the first period, then immediate got up, turned around, and took a roughing penalty. Steve Begin put some monster hits on a few Rangers, taking two of them out in one blow at one point; he got a standing ovation for a fight against Prust about three minutes in the first. Even Satan was checking people into the boards, and we got some brief glimpses of Lucic’s former brilliance in the corner. Del Zotto crept one past Tuukka Rask late in the third, but it was too little too late for New York, and the Bruins got their second home victory of 2010.
#1 Tuukka Rask
#2 Steve Begin
#3 Vladimir Sobotka*
*Probably the most hard-earned 3rd star I’ve ever seen. Sobotka worked his heart out today, and it paid off. Personally I’d have given him the 2nd star, but Begin’s fight and two-rangers-one-hit was just way too impressive.
ELSEWHERE IN THE BRUINS SYSTEM:
- Providence dropped a ridiculously important decision to Hartford today, losing 4-3 in overtime. It’s not all doom and gloom, though; Yannick Riendeau scored the first goal of his pro career. John Lammers and Jeff Penner tallied the other two goals. Unfortunately, Zach Hamill had a really ugly turnover in OT which lead to the game-winning goal; for someone so highly-touted, Hamill is a bit of a disappointment this season. With this loss, Providence is now 6 points out of a playoff spot; Wilkes-Barre and Bridgeport are still ahead.
- In the QMJHL last night, Jordan Caron’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies dropped Max Sauve’s Val d’Or Foreurs 5-3. Caron had two goals and an assist; Sauve had one goal. Count me in as being excited for when these kids come to Providence! The next game of that series, which is currently tied 1-1, is Tuesday at 7:30PM EST.