I could start off this post talking about the game against the Penguins and how the Bruins sought retribution on Matt Cooke but I think that is done and over with. That game was simply horrible. Yes, Shawn Thornton fought Matt Cooke and yes, the fans booed Cooke but that was all the game had. Other than that, the B’s did not show up to play and lost almost embarrassingly 3 to 0. They should have made Cooke playing in this game worse than if he had been suspended like he should have been. If the Bruins took care of Cooke after he hit Savard, maybe there would have been a much different outcome in their latest matchup but it’s over now and we can all move on.
Luckily for Boston fans everywhere, things have started to turn around for the Bruins since that game against Pittsburgh. The Black and Gold took on the Rangers on Sunday who were close behind in the playoff picture. I was lucky enough to go to this game and I went in with the approach of not expecting much so if the Bruins played well I would be happy and if they didn’t I wouldn’t be surprised. Thank goodness they did play well. It was an all around good effort.
Finally, I saw a glimpse of the big and bad Bruins that were supposed to be back this year. The Bruins were hitting, skating, scoring, and standing up for each other. Almost every player was playing to his potential and there were multiple scrums. What more could you ask for? The crowd was into the game and for once, the team gave us something to cheer about. Hopefully this is the game that gets the Bruins going as they push for the playoffs.
The game had everything and more. With Savard out for the season, the power play is still lacking but if the Bruins can score even strength goals and continue to work on the power play, they should be okay. The third line of Lucic, Sobotka, and Satan finally clicked on Sunday and showed what they can do with their line accounting for both goals. Lucic also looking like the Lucic of old that can play physical and play the puck as well.
The Bruins continued their hard play with a 4-0 victory over Atlanta, another team close behind Boston in the playoff race. Yes, the Thrashers did not look good in last night’s game but the Bruins also came with the effort and kept charging. They once again failed to score on the power play but that will come eventually, I hope. Thornton dropped the gloves with Atlanta’s enforcer Eric Boulton and what a showdown it was! Two seasoned fighters that respect one another and keep the fight clean. At one point, they both were on the ground but it was too short of a bout so they got right back up and continued until the linesmen stepped in when Boulton’s shirt was over his head.
The only bad thing to come out of this game was that Sobotka left the game early in the first with a head injury after being hit hard by the much bigger Artyukhin. With the loss of Savard, the last thing this team needs is another injury. According to the Bruins official Twitter page, he is feeling better but is still sore and doubtful for the next game. He has been playing great in Savard’s absence and it would be a shame to see him have to sit out for an extended period of time.
So the Bruins finally seem to be turning it around right? Almost. There are still some problems. The power play is one and another is Michael Ryder. What has he done in the past month? Nothing. Most of the time, you don’t even notice that he is on the ice. He did have an assist in the game against the Thrashers but even then it wasn’t anything special. If he gets going, I think the power play will get back on track as well. Usually when guys aren’t scoring or playing well they will find other ways to make an impact like throwing their body around. Ryder doesn’t even do that. The last thing I remember Ryder doing is crashing into Thomas allowing the Maple Leafs to score in overtime.
This isn’t all Ryder’s fault. Coach Julien needs to bench number 73. We all know Julien isn’t afraid to bench players. We saw him bench Kessel in the 2008 playoffs when he wasn’t producing and we saw the same thing with Wheeler last. If Julien benches Ryder, it allows Brad Marchand to enter the line up and he can bring more to the game than Ryder can right now. Marchand will bring energy no matter what and he can help out on the penalty kill. What’s not to like?
The Bruins have 10 games left in the regular season and are currently in position to reach the playoffs but they still need to work hard. They can have no off nights for the rest of the season and need to show to play every game. The Bruins have already had a 10 game losing streak this year so why not end the season the season with a 12 game winning streak? The Bruins would also like to move out of the 7th and 8th spots so they don’t have to face the Caps or Pens in the first round. But then again who doesn’t like an underdog?
Come on Black and Gold! It’s time to go!
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