Your Boston Bruins hosted the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon for yet another matinee this season in front of the Black and Gold Faithful. The Jets come into this game currently out of the playoff structure, but have games in hand on everyone ahead of them in the Western Conference. The Jets have been having a tough go of it as of late going 4-6 in their last 10 coming into today’s game.
The Bruins rolled out with Tuukka Rask in net while the Jets had Connor Hellebucyk opposing. Up front the Bruins top 6 was static with Brad Marchand (surprisingly) back in the lineup after a (yet another) dirty scummer hit by a WSH player. On the 3rd line Charlie Coyle centered Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen while Tomas Nosek was the pivot on the 4th line between Nick Foligno and Curtis Lazar. Anton Blidh was out of today’s game after being run by Capitals chief scumbag Tom Wilson the other night. While the hit itself wasn’t dirty, Wilson came from about 25 feet to make contact with Blidh and that’s charging brother. Scumbags gonna scumbag I guess.
The Jets got on the board first when Jansen Harkins beat Rask under the glove far-side. Dominic Toninato drove the LW drawing both defenseman, (Both? Sadly yes, both of them), before dropping the puck to Harkins. Neither D-man (Brandon Carlo and Urho Vaakanainen for the early dash1) elected to pick up the trailing Harkins who was all alone as he shot from inside the dot.
Steen tied it up when a strong fore-check by the Bruins led to Vaakanainen keeping the puck in at the left point and working it down the wall to DeBrusk. Coming out of the LW corner, DeBrusk bunted the puck to Coyle at the LW circle who fanned on the shot, but The Hockey Gods put it over to Steen in the slot. Hellebucyk was already moving to his right, and as he attempted to get back to his left, Steen put the puck under his glove. Tie game.
With less than 30 seconds left in the opening frame, a double deflection beat Rask to his left and the Jets were ahead again. An odd man rush into the Bruins defensive zone had the B’s backing up and giving up the blue line and this puck had eyes. Tough to give that one up late in the period, but the Jets thoroughly outplayed the Bruins in the opening period and the boys were lucky to be only down a goal.
In the 2nd period the switch was definitely flipped as the Bruins controlled the pace of play and were winning all the puck battles they had been losing in the first. This was a complete flip of the script as WPG was the aggressor in the first twenty. The Bruins employed the 2-man fore-check again, and once again it paid off as the Jets were unable to clear their own zone with Derek Forbort keeping the puck in at the point. Forbort gathered the puck and strode down and in to the WPG zone with a low wrister looking for tips. Coyle was coming across from the weak side with his head up and his stick on the ice and he re-directed the puck past Hellebucyk to tie the game once more.
The Bruins outshot the Jets 17-6 in the 2nd period and were looking to keep that momentum going in the final frame. You could see they had their legs going from the opening face-off as Coyle drew a tripping penalty with less than 3 minutes played. On the ensuing power play the Bruins looked disjointed and had some difficulty with clean entries. With about a minute gone on the PP, they finally got set up with a mix of PP1 and PP2 players on the ice, and David Pastrnak called game. Marchand gathered the puck at the RW half wall and found Matt Gryzelcyk at the top of the umbrella. Grz gathered the puck and dished it to Pasta right in his wheelhouse where he pounded it far side inside the post. PP-GWG.
The Jets pulled Hellebuyck with about 90 seconds left in the game and it was tough sledding down low for the Bruins but they kept the puck to the perimeter. Forbort was huge in the closing seconds as he blocked two shots from inside the circles.
The B’s battled back against a big, fast team that plays an in-your-face style. Take this one with the W over the Caps the other night and we’re back to feeling good. Up next the B’s host the Ducks before heading out West on a quick 3-game trip. Play the music.
- Tuukka Rask looks more like his old self as he plays the rust off. For all of you haters on the FB pages, shut the fuck up. You want to cherry pick his numbers to fit your argument? Ok two can play that game; he stopped all the shots in the 3rd period for a 1.000% save percentage. See how stupid that is?
- Jake DeBrusk has played well the last 2 games. Maybe the B’s management has promised to be nice to him and try to trade him to where he wants to go? I don’t know, but I do know that it’s certainly easier to trade this version of the DeBrusk than the one that’s been here the last few years.
- Urho Vaakanainen has played great. He doesn’t look out of place with the speed or the physicality of the NHL game. Good to see him playing well.
- Looking for more physicality? Both Connor Clifton and Brandon Carlo dropped the gloves tonight. Now I’m not comparing either of them to Ryan Reaves, but I like the response. At one point it even looked like David Pastrnak was going to hit the Eject button, but cooler heads prevailed.
- I know I’ve been singing his praises, but now I have stats to back me up. Since the move to put Erik Haula with David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall on the 2nd line they’ve all re-discovered their offensive touch. In 11GP Haula is at 9pts and a +3, Pastrnak is at 13pts and a +4 and Hall is at 12 points and a +4. Glad that Butch and Donny finally started to listen to me.
- The Bruins looked back on their heels to open the first period. Maybe it’s being at home or maybe it’s playing a matinee game, but they need to be ready to go from the opening face.
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