Bruins Remember Defense: Shutdown Toronto
Boston Bruins 1, Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Oh there you are Bruins defense! Boston played the solid defense we all know they are capable of in their first shutout of the season against the Maple Leafs Saturday night. James Reimer played amazing for the Leafs, earning him the first star of the game. Tuukka Rask's twelfth career shutout earned him the second star and the only player to score, Chris Bourque, the third.
As mentioned in the preview, this game was all about the new kids. The third line must have heard all of the criticism and really stepped up. Rich Peverley to Chris Kelly who tossed a perfect pass which landed bullseye on Bourque's tape, a nice net drive put the only tally of the game on the board. When the Bruins play the tight defense we all know they are capable of, they only need one goal. My father, a former coach, always says, "You only need to be one goal better than your goalie" and with Rask stopping 21 shots, the Bruins left Toronto with two points.
Lane MacDermid made Shawn Thornton proud with two brawls, both with Mark Fraser, one in the first and one in the second. The first fight seemed pretty even, but Lane came back in the second and took Fraser down in seconds during the next fight, showing the NHL that even with their heavy weight out, the Bruins are more than willing to drop the gloves.
The game for the most part was refreshing for the Bruins, still licking their wounds from the Sabres loss. Biggest complaint being the officiating. Dougie Hamilton took a high stick which wasn't called (remember the elbow he took Thursday, also not called?). In the second Brad Marchand and Mike Komisarek collided and then Marchy went flying into the goal post, the puck somehow bounced into the net, but the refs claimed it was incidental contact and "no goal". Marchand skated off favoring his shoulder and despite playing a shift did not return to the game after. Coach Julien in post game interviews stated that the second line winger was cleared to return to the game however he took cautionary measures and had him rest. If there was an emergency he could have played, but wasn't needed.
Coach is right, in a short season the Bruins can not afford to lose a guy like Marchand, currently leading the team in goals. Similar caution was taken with Dan Paille, who did not make the trip to Toronto after taking a stick to the face Saturday...fingers crossed that is also just "cautionary measures".
Shawn Thornton is still out with a concussion and not set to return until next week. The Bruins travel to rival Montreal on Wednesday and then welcome Tampa Bay on Saturday. Currently, the Bruins are in first place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Lightning.
Keep you heads up and your sticks down and see you in Montreal!
Side Bar: Stick tap to the Bruins for having fun with Phil Kessel. Guy still can't buy a goal and the B's enjoyed tossing him around last night and reminding him he is not missed.