Monday, November 5, 2007

The B's Hang with the Sens

I have been tempted to write something about how the Bruins are doing so far this season several times, but each time I have decided to wait a bit longer before saying anything. But after the home-and-home series against the Sens I think the time may be right.

This was a critical set of games. My big worry going in was that the young Bruins would be obviously outclassed and it would sting them so badly that they would lose their edge, possibly to never recover. That didn't happen. Even though they lost both games the Bruins can hold their head's high because they did show they could play with the best. My only disappointment was the shootout in last night's game. I thought Timmy had played perhaps his best NHL game ever. All night long you could hear that big "boom" as the puck came off his pads. The traffic in front of him was thick yet time and again he somehow saw the puck and stopped it. His rebounds were controlled. His glove hand was fast and sharp. In the two games he allowed only four goals on 81 shots (0.951). The Sens had to earn every single goal. So for Timmy to give up two back to back goals to start the shootout was a real disappointment. I wouldn't be surprised if fatigue wasn't a factor. He had to work very hard both games.

Overall the team played very well. Everyone contributed, and unlike last year everyone hustled nearly non-stop. There were only a few times when they let up but were able to recover quickly. One of those did lead to the Ottawa goal last night though. The Bruins were on the PP and as they began to set up in the offensive zone I knew right away they were in trouble because they had lost their jump. Just for a few seconds. I was very impressed by how the Sens smelled that and immediately took advantage of it to score a shorty.

Anyhow, I think it is safe to say that the Bruins are for real. If they play any other team in the league with the sort of hustle they showed against the Sens they will come out the winner. The next challenge (and there is always a next one) is to see if they can sustain that hustle against the other teams in their division. That, and they are going to need to get Timmy some help in goal. Unfortunately, as Fernandez discovered, Timmy's a tough act to follow.

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