Brief thoughts on the B’s second-straight overtime playoff win:
- Absolute OT domination The Bruins owned the overtime period so thoroughly that, logically, I thought they’d lose on some fluke goal. Truthfully, that overtime may be the best extended stretch of play by the Bruins this season (it can be argued that the last eleven minutes of Game 7 vs. Toronto was better, I suppose). It’s important to not read too much into it, but fatigue shouldn’t have been any more a factor for the Rangers than for the Bruins. The Rangers won 5-0 in Game 7, whereas the B’s need a historic comeback and overtime to win. What set the tone for the overtime was the B’s early power play, one which saw them record EIGHT shots on goal. They didn’t score, but they did create a whole bunch of momentum, and they never gave it up. Impressive.
- Youngsters impress It’s hard not to gush about the play of Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski (and to a lesser extent, because he has played far more, Dougie Hamilton). Rather than being inexperienced liabilities on the blueline, each has added an element of speed and vision to what is mostly a stay-at-home unit. I honestly don’t remember the last Bruin defenseman who moved as well as Krug and Bartkowski do. The B’s have been looking for a puck-mover on the back end for years now, and it appears that they may have two of them.
- Coaches impress as well Perhaps equally impressive is the treatment Claude Julien and the coaching staff gave to Bartkowski and Krug before the game, essentially telling each to play the game that got him here, i.e. don’t be conservative or scared just because you’re not in Providence. It would’ve been easy for the coaching staff to play each sheltered minutes, and encourage each to make safe plays. Instead, the coaches essentially took the shackles off and said “do your thing.” It worked out perfectly.
- Chara is a monster It’s hard to actually put into words how immense Zdeno Chara has been in the past two games. The captain has skated 73:48 TOI in the past two games alone. Nearly 74 minutes!!! He’s riding a five-game point streak, had two points last night, was a plus-2, and fired nine shots on goal. Chara may honestly be playing the best hockey of his Bruin career right now, and it’s a treat to watch.
- Speaking of a treat to watch… David Krejci is in one of his zones, and is playing on another level right now. He’s making some incredible plays with the puck, his vision is unbelievable, and he’s keeping turnovers to a minimum.
- Tortorella Jerk Report Around 100 seconds. What a guy.