On Sunday the Penguins imposed their will on the Boston. Utilizing their superior group velocity to dictate play, they loved many of the prime scoring possibilities whereas holding the Bruins in examine. The end result, a crisp playoff-style 1-0 victory.
Final night time the Bruins returned the favor. Heeding coach Bruce Cassidy’s name to play a “grittier recreation,” the guests clogged the taking pictures lanes to the tune of 21 blocked pictures and allowed the Pens valuable few second-chance alternatives.
Sort of an on-ice model of The Empire Strikes Again.
The B’s banged our bodies as effectively, outhitting us by a whopping 50-25 margin and just about knocking us round everywhere in the ice. Whereas the Pens tried to reply…Teddy Blueger shocked onlookers by dropping the mitts with Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon…let’s face it, it’s not our recreation. At the least not with the lineup as presently constructed. Extra on that in a bit.
The Pens held serve by means of a scoreless opening interval that in some ways mirrored Sunday’s affair. Boston took the lead on an innocuous wanting backhander off the frenzy by David Krejci late within the second body, snapping Tristan Jarry’s shutout streak at 125:36. Then the Bruins ramped up the bodily play within the closing interval (a ridiculous 18-6 edge in hits) and methodically took management.
After softening our guys up with 4 hits in simply over a minute they grabbed on a 2-0 lead halfway by means of the interval on a rubbish purpose by Brad Marchand. Once more, nothing fancy right here. The Bruins simply drove straight to the web and cashed in, swatting apart would-be checkers like so many flies at a Fourth of July picnic.
At 12:18, Taylor Corridor streaked up the ice and beat Jarry from the excessive slot to make it 3-0. For many who have been counting, it was the B’s third purpose off the frenzy. Jeff Carter beat Tuukka Rask with a laser of his personal at 17:39, but it surely was just about tutorial by then.
I’ll let Cassidy sum up.
“There was rather a lot to love tonight from everyone to be trustworthy with you,” he stated. “We performed , decided recreation. … Our high guys did the ending tonight. Our backside guys did a whole lot of the soiled work, the grunt work. The physicality, it’s method for us.”
The battle strains are drawn. You hearin’ this, Sully?
The Bruins held the sting in pictures on purpose (31-26), 5v5 scoring possibilities (21-14) and excessive hazard scoring possibilities (8-3). They gained 57 % of the attracts.
Within the battle of high strains, Boston’s “Perfection Line” dominated. Sidney Crosby’s unit was a mixed minus-nine. Our high defensive pairing of Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin, a minus-three. “Tanger” was caught flatfooted and fishing for the puck on the Bruins’ second purpose.
The Pens completed the season collection at 3-4-1.
The loss dropped us into second place within the MassMutual East with 67 factors, one level behind our subsequent foe Washington. The Caps have a recreation in hand. The Islanders are in third (63 factors), adopted by the Bruins (62) and the Rangers, nonetheless on the cusp of the playoff chase with 58 factors.
General coach Mike Sullivan’s carried out a terrific job this yr. However there’s one bone of rivalry for me and I’m going to choose at it.
He appears unwilling to regulate his lineup to match our opponents. I get it to an extent…he needs our foes to regulate to us as a substitute. Nevertheless it’s no secret how the Bruins, and certain the Capitals and Islanders, are going to play us in a brief collection. They’re going to come back at us bodily.
I absolutely notice we’re not going to be a heavy group…it’s simply not our model. However we don’t must be toothless, both. Anthony Angello did a stable job when given the possibility (51 hits in 19 video games of restricted ice time). And he’s not a plow horse…he can skate and play somewhat.
Am I to imagine twice-waived Colton Sceviour’s that superior?
I feel not.
Sam Lafferty possesses velocity and sand, and he’s gained over 52 % of his attracts. Hulking Radim Zohorna did nothing throughout his temporary cameo to counsel he doesn’t belong, and he can play heart in addition to wing. But we proceed to decorate Milquetoast-ish Mark Jankowski on the premise that he’s defensive participant.
Sadly, it continues an ingrained sample of conduct for Sullivan. Larger gamers and/or ones with an aggressive bent are continually marginalized and shunted to the shadows.
Because of this, you’ve gotten Crosby (and later Blueger) attempting to avenge Lauzon’s laborious second-period hit and subsequent cross-check on Jake Guentzel…which might’ve had catastrophic outcomes.
For goodness sake, Sully, deploy a lineup that provides us somewhat safety and pushback. Our Cup hopes may very well be using on it.
*Make sure to try Rick Bukers books,
out there at TriumphBooks.com,