Some quick thoughts on this afternoon’s win over Tampa Bay:
–Marchand in a nutshell The Bruins’ game-winning goal this afternoon was a perfect snapshot of what kind of hockey player Brad Marchand is: a little of the bad and a lot of the good. The play began with Marchand going down a bit easily on a shove to the back by (I believe) Eric Brewer; Marchand went down hard, and there seemed to be a bit of embellishment as he was trying to draw a cross checking call (the bad). However, he got back in the play, got in solid position on the ensuing odd-man rush and ended up finishing off the Lightning with a beautiful wrist shot past a sprawling Mathieu Garon. Marchand’s a guy who plays on the edge and occasionally goes over it, but is also extremely talented. That last shift featured both the good and bad in Marchand’s game.
–PK from “oh no” to OK The Bruins’ penalty kill has been one of the team’s biggest assets so far this season, but it was a bit Jekyll and Hyde today. The PK looked extremely shaky early, giving up two goals in the first period on bad coverage: on the first one, the B’s somehow lost track of Steven Stamkos, a big no-no (especially on the power play), and on the second, Chris Kelly got all turned around at the blue line in a feeble attempt at a stick check. However, they turned things around after that, killing the rest of Tampa’s man advantages, including a four-minute power play in the third.
–Smooth Dougie… Dougie Hamilton was huge on the power play today, basically orchestrating Tyler Seguin’s goal on his own. His save of the puck near the blue line kept the B’s pressure alive, and his ability to spot Seguin was huge as well. The thing about Hamilton is that in watching him, one can see that he is figuring things out and making plays with his head, not by instinct. For example, with Zdeno Chara, his slapshot is his best weapon, but it’s one of brute strength: he whacks at it and hopes it gets through. Hamilton, however, uses his brain, finds seams and gaps, and threads the puck through.
–…and not so smooth Dougie Dougie got abused by Martin St. Louis twice in the third period, once near the Bruins’ net and again in the neutral zone while Dougie was trying to rush the puck. It wasn’t embarrassing or a horrible failure or anything, just good plays by St Louis; however, the two incidents were the kinds of “rookie moments” Dougie hasn’t had many off this year.
Keeping it short today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!