–Lucic leads the way It took him nearly 59 minutes to get on the scoresheet, but Milan Lucic was the best Bruin on the ice today. Lucic landed three shots in the first period alone, and had a total of 7 in the game. His power play goal with the Boston net empty gave him 20 on the year, making him the first player in the league to have 20 goals and 100 PIMs this season. Lucic was hitting, winning puck battles, and making plays all afternoon, so the goal was as much a reward for his stellar play as anything else. The goal was an excellent “power forward” goal, as Lucic drove through the high-traffic area to collect a lose puck, and roofed it into the top of the cage. A tremendous afternoon for #17.
–Sick mitts Tyler Seguin’s shootout goal was a thing of beauty, one of the nicest I’ve seen a Bruin score in quite some time. Changing speeds, stickhandling like the puck was on a string, a lethal shot…it all added up to a highlight-reel marker against one of the best goalies in the league in Pekka Rinne.
-Solid team I’ve always had a soft spot for Nashville, mainly because they’re in a “non-traditional market” but are actually relatively successful. What Barry Trotz and David Poile have done with a limited budget in Nashville is commendable; now it’s up to them to keep their talent. They’ve got a ton of young talent, especially with the likes of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Blake Geoffrion, and more. They need scoring, but their defense/goaltending combo has got to be in the league’s top five. I’d like to see the Preds make some noise in the playoffs this year, and if they can get some scoring help, it shouldn’t be out of reach.
-Field Trippin’ The Bergeron-Seguin-Marchand trio was spectacular again today, as Marchand in particular seemed to have his legs moving. His effort on the game’s first goal was tremendous, as was Bergeron’s snapshot. The Field Trip Line has been, without question, the B’s most consistent this season.
-Grinder goal It’s always great to see the fourth line guys score, and it’s even better to see them score such a pretty goal. Shawn Thornton’s no-look pass from behind the goal line onto the stick of Daniel Paille was a brilliant play, proof of Thornton’s insistence that the grinders can actually play too.
-Not so solid Timmy Tim Thomas had a pretty subpar afternoon, yet still managed to come away with the win. He was helped along at least twice by his shiny red metal pals, and looked absolutely awful on Mike Fisher’s go-ahead goal late in the third. That’s a save Thomas has to make to keep his team in the game; luckily for him, his teammates bailed him out with Lucic’s game-tying goal, one that came with Thomas on the bench for an extra attacker. His save on Martin Erat was a good one, but Sergei Kostitsyn beat him with the first shot, only to, you guessed it, hit the post. Thomas needs to be better.
-Bad Adam Adam McQuaid had a rough afternoon, taking two silly penalties and finishing with a minus-2 rating. Both penalties were a bit weak, as the roughing call is one that usually comes with a matching penalty for the opposition and the delay of game was simply a bit of bad luck.
What went right
Down by a goal with the net empty, the B’s, as a team, entered the attacking zone with speed and were rewarded for it. Rich Peverley found himself some open ice and rifle a shot that went just wide of Rinne; the rebound came off the back wall and went unclaimed until Lucic, barrelling in with that speed I just mentioned, whacked it into the net. Had the B’s not entered the zone at such a fast pace, a Predator likely would’ve pounced on that puck. Instead, the B’s got there first and tied things up.
Attaboy: Lucic. He was a force out there in one of the best games he’s played in quite some time.
Providence Shuttle: Thomas. I know they won, but with all of the talking he’s been doing and attention he’s been generating off of the ice, he needs to keep his game tight or he’s going to become a pretty big distraction.