Everything about the way the Bruins played tonight was great, as a whole. That being said, how often does a team win 5-0 after not having scored a goal through the first 16 minutes of the second period? Literally any Bruins blowout that starts in the second period and becomes an all out assault in the third will remind me of Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Finals, but even that one saw the first goal of the game at only 13 seconds gone in the second period, and the Bruins had 4 at the end of the period.
Anyway, they still kicked ass. Tuukka made every save he saw, and he saw a relatively high total for the Bruins. But they still won the ever important shot differential battle by putting 42 shots on Robin Lehner. Reilly Smith continues to be almost worth the Tyler Seguin trade by himself (only a slight exaggeration) by netting 2 more goals. He’s up to 14/16/30 in 38 games, and he’ll actually make it a tough decision for Claude to decide whether or not to slide Eriksson back to his spot on the 2nd line. #reillysmithforcanadianolympicteam
You gotta love how, when the Bruins’ 3rd line goes quiet after going apeshit Monday night, the B’s’ top 2 lines picks up the slack and accounts for 5 (one was on the power play, and one was shorthanded, but the forwards on the ice for those goals were only from the 1st or 2nd line).
That’s what will make the Bruins so hard to beat in a 7 game series, especially if Eriksson is back and clicking with his linemates. The top 2 lines are going off like they did in that run at the end of the 2011 calendar year, and the 3rd can explode on any given night, especially if Smiddy replaces Matt Fraser when Eriksson is back. The 4th line remains in hibernation, unfortunately, as they couldn’t do anything in Paille’s return. Of course, they’re playing with Jordan Caron, which doesn’t help anyone. We all saw what the Merlot Line can do against the Rangers last year, and, once Thornton is playing on the line or when they hopefully figure out how to work Spooner onto the line to match Paille’s speed, they should be one of the most dangerous 4th lines in the league again.
And, although +/- is a wildly overrated and almost useless stat, at least in the presence of more advanced measurements, it should be noted that Milan Michalek, Colin Greening, Jason Spezza, and former “Norris Trophy Winner” Erik Karlsson were all -2 on the night. Sucks to suck.
Of course, there was one negative. Dennis Seidenberg went down with a lower-body injury again. No word on what it is, but he won’t travel to Ottawa for Saturday’s game. It’s good that it means more reps for young guys and McQuaid, who needs to knock off more rust, but it always blows to lose your 2nd defenseman. The B’s shouldn’t bring him back until he’s more than ready. Need him for the springtime.
Only other sour note is that James Neal scored an OT goal to give the Pens the win and get them 2 points. Screw that.
But, you know, 5-0. 42-33 in shots. Shutout for maybe the best goalie in the league. Marshmont is back. Seventh straight game in which an individual Bruin had 2 goals. Hard to complain.