Ok, I admit it. I didn't really enjoy last night's game against Tampa very much. I'm not entirely certain why. Maybe it was being forced to watch the game on the NHL network, which always seems to run the other team's broadcast. I really missed Jack's fun-filled insanity! Maybe it was how tightly the game was played.
But perhaps it was something more. For starters, I thought the Bruins were terrible. They seemed off in just about every way: even the shortest passes often didn't connect. Timmy looked rusty and was more lucky than good in the first period. And they kept dumping the puck out of their own zone giving up possession, which drove me crazy. They looked like a team that was losing their edge, like a team on a long winning streak that was almost out of gas (and magic). But of course the other way to look at it is that they still won the game even though they had trouble executing. I guess the next few games will tell which way this team is headed.
The Lucic line has become a dominant force to be reckoned with. I watched "Looch" and "Horty" on the bench and those two are developing real chemistry. They clearly share a strong desire to win and it shows on the ice. Unlike previous years, when somebody needs to step up and score these guys are going to find a way. Just look at how that winning goal came about!
But I was also troubled that they played just a bit dirty. That vague line between playing hard and tough and taking cheap shots may have been crossed just a bit and that's not something I want to see more of. Unlike a lot of pundits I get why Looch went after the guy who drew the tripping penalty. It was a dive! But the cross check to the face that came in the scrum later was over the top. There were also a couple of reckless knee-on-knee hits.
Maybe these guys are going to have a let down, or maybe they will fight through it. We'll just have to see. One thing I know is this: as long as they don't lose any key players to injury this team has more than enough Stanley Cup magic in it.