Note: Chip Fisk wrote this recap.
As luck (and the NHL scheduling powers that be) would have it, the Bruins have found themselves in the midst of a 3 game stretch of games against teams from the East all fighting for either their playoff lives or for playoff positioning. After a disappointing loss to the red hot Red Wings and a hard fought OT loss to Toronto, this matinee game had all of the makings to complete the trifecta of suck. The possibility of the President’s Trophy aside, the Bruins had all but clinched the top spot in the East, and were/are just trying to make it into the playoffs with their health intact. The Flyers, meanwhile, are looking at a first round matchup against a hated rival in the NY Rangers, and two points would have helped them inch closer to the Blueshirts in the standings and critical home ice in round 1.
Jarome Iginla was a late scratch, again getting the opportunity to sit due to a “lower body injury”…which, in the cryptic world of NHL injury reports, could mean anything from a headache to a hang nail. I don’t know how worried I am or should be by him sitting for the second time in a three game stretch, but the fact that he played (well) against Toronto should assuage the fears of many. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, regardless.
The person many view as the cause to Iginla’s injury, Zac Rinaldo, got to display his full douchebaggery on an early shift against the modified Krejci line. After appearing to go out of his way to flatten Milan Lucic within the first minute of action, he successfully got the Flyers on the power play by failing to respond to Looch for responding to Rinaldo. Who may have been responding to last Sunday? I don’t know, but it was certainly a lot of responding. As a fan of the cinema, I was particularly impressed with Rinaldo’s theatrics as Looch was being motioned towards the box. All told, it was probably Rinaldo’s finest performance since he won our hearts playing opposite Cher in 1985’s poignant film, Mask.
The B’s were able to kill the Flyers’ power play, and the rest of the first period was somewhat uneventful. Both teams looked like they were trying to feel one another out, as clearly evidenced with Thorty’s throwdown with Jay Rosehill. You should probably remember that name (foreshadowing!)…
David Krejci scored the lone goal on assists from Looch and Loui, and the Bruins went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
Both teams brought out increased intensity for the second period. Philly was given a gift of a man advantage after Torey Krug’s blade decided to fall off on a simple crossing pass in the high slot. Well, the blade itself didn’t award the power play, but the mad scramble that resulted from it that comes from the realization of “Oh shit, my blade just fell off my stick!” did.
It was probably the most damning incident involving a composite stick imploding in an NHL game that I’ve ever seen, and the good folks at Warrior should feel great shame. After what was looking like a long but successful kill, Wayne Simmonds was able to get behind the Bruins’ PK box to tie the game, 1-1.
Looch would answer 19 seconds afterwards on an absolute laser of a shot to pull the B’s back ahead, 2-1. It was the second goal of the day for the Krejci line, and at this point it looked as though Boston would start to pull away.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Not yet, anyway. Boston would be victimized by Claude Giroux-…wait, no. Wayne Simmonds yet again! Uh, no. Jakub Voracek? It was none of the above. Instead, it was the aforementioned Jay Rosehill, scoring a very un-Jay Rosehill like goal to tie the game at 2-2. It was his second goal of the year, and the fifth of an illustrious 114 game NHL career. I’m not saying that Jay Rosehill is a horrible hockey player, but his own mom doesn’t even wear a Jay Rosehill jersey on gamedays. I can imagine their next phone conversation going something like this:
Jay Rosehill: Hey mom! We lost, but at least I scored a goal. It was a beauty, too!
Jay Rosehill’s Mom: I’m sorry, but my son is Jay Rosehill. You must have me confused with someone else.
Jay Rosehill: No, it’s me mom. I scored. Against Boston!
Jay Rosehill’s Mom: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY SON?!
(note: If Jay Rosehill’s Mom is deceased, I will apologize for a lack of sensitivity. Also, please substitute another family member/friend/mentor who cares about him. It would still be applicable.)
It was only in the latter half of the third period that Boston decided to pull away. The game winner turned out to be a Johnny Rocket – his fifth of the year (Take THAT, Jay Rosehill!).
Insurance goals were provided by Looch and Chris Kelly with an empty net. Loui Erikkson was pretty dominant playing Iggy’s spot on the Krejci line, finishing with four helpers and seven shots on goal for the day. He looked like the former NHL all star that was the centerpiece of the Tyler Seguin deal instead of the oft injured forward relegated to third line duty. All told, the line of Krejci/Loui/Looch dominated the game practically single handedly. Had they been playing with that line on NHL 14 without fatigue and/or line changes on, this game could have been 29-0.
All told, it was a solid effort….culminating in Boston clinching the top seed in the East and home ice throughout the Stanley Cup Finals..
- Torey Krug is fun to watch. Even though his Calder buzz has been silenced by the play of Nathan MacKinnon, he should still be a lock for the NHL All Rookie team. I don’t see him ever being a Norris Trophy contender throughout his career – even though the award typically favors offensive defensmen – but what he brings to the Bruins attack is exciting. This was most evident early in the third when he made a nifty pass to spring Jordan Caron for a scoring chance. Had he found ANY OTHER BRUIN, it would have been a goal. Hell, even Jay Rosehill would have buried it.
- LOUI! LOUI! As I mentioned after the Detroit game, Loui Erikkson has the undeniable talent to play on either of Boston’s top two lines. Given the recent struggles of Reilly Smith, moving him onto the Bergeron grouping once the playoffs begin seems like a no brainer. Get it? No brainer? Concussion problems? Eh, they can’t all be winners.
- Milan Lucic’s composure. Granted, nobody in Boston likes Zac Rinaldo, but Looch has to pick and choose when to start fisticuffs. Trying to throw with Rinaldo on a hit that wasn’t that bad to begin with showed a lack of discipline on Looch’s part. The Bruins need Lucic to be his body banging, goal scoring self come playoff time, and that cannot happen when he’s in the box after taking stupid penalties.
- Composite sticks. What the hell, Warrior?
- With winnable games the rest of the way out, do the Bruins press on and try for the President’s Trophy, or do they rest key guys for the playoffs?
- Does anyone know how Sean Couturiererer is doing since they rescued him from ‘Former NHL Lottery Picks Who’ve Done Shit in Their Careers’ Island? The kid just seems crushed since he lost his friend Wilson. I wish Couturier would just figure out that you can only go ‘Dr. Pepper Mountain Man Look’ after you’ve carved out a successful career in this league (see Brent Burns). He just looks like a homeless slob, instead.
- Seriously, Jarome….Are you ok?