The Bruins are rolling. They’ve scored 6-6-6 in the past three games, and both Rask and Johnson have played out of their minds.
Carl Soderberg looks really good at center. It will be interesting to see what they do with him there, but I don’t think he’ll stick there for too long. Claude moved Kelly back up to 3C in the third period and put Soderberg back at 3LW, reuniting the Merlot Line.
Speaking of the Merlot Line, sweet Jesus did Shawn Thornton play well last night. Highlight reel goal and all around good play with different linemates throughout the night. Challenged Jovanovski to a fight in the most badass way possible, by simply dropping his gloves and motioning with his head to leave the scrum and fight. No surprise Jovo didn’t drop em. I still feel that Spooner should play either 4LW and have Paille go RW, or just play RW to put Paille and Spooner’s speed together with Campbell and Paille’s defense. But I wouldn’t hate seeing Thornton in his 4RW spot in the playoffs, because Paille and Campbell really do seem to play a little better with him in there than, say, Caron. I would definitely take Thornton over Caron, Fraser, or even Florek at this point at the 4RW spot in the playoffs.
Kelly looked pretty good for his first game back, but it’s just one game, and he didn’t play so well that he’ll not look rusty on Thursday. It was a good sign that Claude put him back at 3C, although that may have just been because the game was almost in the bag.
First two lines played great again, and this time it was the Krejci line who was finishing. If either one of those two lines is clicking at the level that the 1st line clicked last night and the 2nd the night before, I don’t see anyone in the Eastern Conference knocking the Bruins off.
Soderberg and Smith are ridiculous together on the Power Play. It also makes me hopeful that, when Eriksson (probably) goes back to 2RW and Smith to 3RW, that Soderberg and Smiddy will be able to work their magic together on even strength. Kelly will be fine offensively with those two, as he was pretty good offensively two and three years ago with good offensive linemates (Good Peverley and Good Ryder in 2011, and Good Peverley and somewhat underrated Pouliot in 2012). And he’ll bring the defense that Smith and Soderberg may still lack. I like that line’s prospects.
Also, Tom Gilbert looked terrible. I’m now down on the whole Trade-for-Tom-Gilbert thing.
As for the Celtics…
They got owned by the Knicks last night, and they play the Sixers tonight in a back-to-back. Since they’re better than the 76ers but trying to finish behind them, I’m pumped it’s the second day of a back-to-back. Oh, and Rondo isn’t playing because of resting his knee, and maybe, just maybe, because Stevens doesn’t mind this whole tanking thing. He’ll definitely coach to win in games, but I really hope the Celtics start resting guys for “tweaked hammies” and stuff like that.
This is a big game for the Celtics tanking chances. The Sixers didn’t play last night and the Celtics did, and the C’s best player just happens to be sitting out. Gotta lose this one, and I have no problem admitting that I’m rooting hard for it.
And then it’s Bruins-Habs Thursday night. Wonderful. A game to care about every weeknight this week. Hopefully 3 huge wins and 1 huge loss. Go B’s, and Go Sixers.