The Bruins finally looked like the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner tonight. They took the team who could be considered 1st in the division given that they had a game in hand, and beat the crap out of them. The shots were 45-30, with every line playing well (even the scotch-tape-level-of-patchwork line of Matt Lindblad, Craig Cunningham, and Seth Griffith. Tuukka Rask finally looked like the Vezina winner again, although the defense still needs improvement in front of him.
The key focus when analyzing this game has to be the Soderberg-Eriksson-Kelly line. They were awesome tonight, even though they were playing tougher minutes tonight now that the normal 1st and 2nd lines were consolidated with Bergeron and Lucic out. (I’m kind of assuming that they played harder minutes, but I’m confident that the fancy stats would back me up on that one.) That line is amazing, and may be the difference maker in whether or not the Bruins go on a deep playoff run. It now makes a lot more sense that Claude is reluctant to move Eriksson off of that line and alongside Krejci. If the B’s trade for someone to play alongside Krejci and Lucic, then suddenly they have a great Top 9 rotation just like a year ago.
It’s onto Toronto on New Year’s Eve, when tons of fans, myself included, will be spending the night at the TD Garden and then downtown in Boston after to ring in 2015. Hopefully the B’s make the night truly special by killing the victims of the Raycroft-Tuukka trade.