That's the Merlot Line to You: Bruins Top Islanders 4-2
Bruins 4, Islanders 2
Don't you call them the Fourth Line...around these parts its Merlot or Energy Line and after tonight the Islanders can see why. Boston's first two goals of the night came from Shawn Thornton (Hamilton, Paille) and Gregory Campbell (Krejci, Kelly)...and after watching their forecheck with Dougie Hamilton I've already coined the phrase "Ham Soup".
Milan Lucic fed the game winner to Zdeno Chara in the third and Patrice Bergeron just couldn't resist a pass from Hamilton to seal the deal. It wasn't pretty folks, but if we remember anything about the 2010-2011 Bruins, we know they didn't always look the part, but they delivered. The Islanders certainly didn't go down without a fight...okay maybe Matt Carkner did after taking it on the chin, literally, from Lucic's right fist. It was Lucic's 41st fighting major of his career and hopefully they'll be many more to come. If he keeps racking up points and entertaining the crowd I maybe just might take back some of the things I said about him being overpaid...JUST MAYBE.
A temporary lapse in defensive judgment on the part of two people who know better (I'm looking at you Z and Destroychuk) allowed Keith Aucoin to tally his first of two (and the only) points for the Islanders. Who is this Aucoin character you might ask? Well, actually he's my kind of guy...paid his dues in the AHL with over 700 points and the Islanders acquired him on waivers just last week from Toronto (seriously are the Leafs physically incapable of making a good decision?). He's a hustler and at 34 still was able to unleash a rocket past Rask for his second score of the game. Oh and did I mention...he's from Waltham. Don't worry, you can like him...the Bruins won.
Though the B's may have needed a period to remember how to play offense again, they certainly remembered how to go to the penalty box. In addition to Lucic's fighting major, Danny Paille (unsportsmanlike conduct), Shawn Thornton (misconduct) and Kelly (tripping) all contributed to the B's 19 penalty minutes in the first period! The second and third periods were more about offense, with only Chara, in the second, and Krejci in the third, both going to the box for holding.
In post game interviews, Coach Claude Julien drove home the point that the Bruins still need to play 60 minutes of offensive hockey. Contributions from unlikely places, like the Merlot line and rookie Dougie Hamilton, are welcomed but everyone needs to be getting on the board. We've yet to see Seguin, Peverley and Krejci do what we know they are capable of doing. Consistency is key and still lacking for the B's...as is their anemic power play.
One final note, when young Dougie Hamilton was but a blimp on the radar for possible draft choices for the Bruins, I commented on how fun it would be to get him so they could play "Teach Me How to Dougie" when he had a big play...I regret ever typing that, saying that or even thinking that. We get it TD Garden, his name is Dougie, like the song...it ends tonight.
Okay boys and girls, that's all from Boston tonight, keep your heads up and your sticks down!