Where do you start with last night's game against the Penguins? The way the NESN crew gushed about Crosby in the opening, or that given the B's place in the standings and how well they have played all season how little excitement they showed for the home team? The Crosby and Malkin show in the first period? Or the complete meltdown of the Bruins team defense? The not one, but two fights between Chara and and Laroque, or that for all the dancing they did nobody truly landed a punch? Crosby's first fight and Gordie Howe hat trick, or his disappearing act in the 3rd period? The Bruins fighting back from 4-0 to tie the game late in the 3rd, or the way the Penguins collapsed? The huge saves Tim Thomas made to keep the Bruins in the game, or that he allowed goals on the first two shots in the shootout?
It was interesting, exciting, entertaining and yet... flawed.
For me, one play stands out even above all that. It was the Crosby goal in the 1st period. He crashes the net with Chara all over him, even lifting his stick. Yet somehow he powers his way to the goal anyhow, gets hist stick away from Chara's, and tips the puck into the net off from one of the most perfect passes I have ever seen. I've never been a true believer in Crosby, what with all the hype and how young he still is. But I am now. That wasn't a highlight reel all-skill goal, yet it will be burned into my memory.
Someone else who really impressed me with his play was PJ Axelsson. PJ is the kind of player the less observant fans tend to overlook, usually making a quiet string of great little plays rather than a few big ones. He's really come along in the last month or so, often making the key clear on the PK, and his forechecking improves with every game. Last night he was a force and difference maker all over the ice.