The Bruins efforts Tuesday night, in their second 4-0 win against the Atlanta Thrashers this season, is exactly what they need to be bringing to the table every night for the remaining ten games of this season. They took the positives aspects from their win against the New York Rangers and applied them in this one.
Granted the Thrashers, much like their crowds, barely showed up to “The Biggest Game of Year” as it was being sold in the Atlanta press. The official attendance claims that there were 14,042 at the Philips Arena last night; however it looked like about half that on TV. But I’ll save my thoughts on what markets are right for hockey and what ones are in desperate need of relocation for another time.
The Bruins were moving faster, hitting harder, and fighting for every inch of ice during the full sixty minutes of the game. That last part is probably the most important part of their game that needs to stay consistent. When they put in a full sixty minute effort good things seem to happen. David Krejci and Milan Lucic both had a 2 point game with a goal and assist each, Miroslav Satan got his second goal in as many games coming off a redirection of a Zdeno Chara slap shot from the point with 3.5 seconds left in the 2nd period, and Steve Begin broke a 28 game scoreless drought after hammering home a huge rebound off a long wrist shot from Lucic. But the star of the game would once again have to be Tuukka Rask, turning away 27 shots for his 4th shutout of the season and putting him atop the league for goaltenders in Save Percentage (.930) and Goals Against Average (2.02).
So as of right now the Bruins remain in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. Both teams, along with the Bruins, are in action over the next two nights. The Habs are in Buffalo tonight taking on US Olympian Ryan Miller and the Northeast Division leading Sabres and they’ll be back in the Bell Centre tomorrow night hosting the Florida Panthers that are coming off last night’s 4-1 thrashing of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flyers will be heading back to Philly, after falling 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators, to face off with the Minnesota Wild. In other notable games around the Eastern Conference, the Rangers will be staying local this week as they have the Islanders later tonight (get your little plastic glasses out because it’s being broadcast in IN 3D!) and then they have the New Jersey Devils at The Rock in Jersey tomorrow night.
The Bruins next game will see the Tampa Bay Lightning coming into Boston tomorrow evening with only 3 wins in their last 15 games, putting them in 12th in the East, and 8 points behind the Bruins in the standings. Now even though Tampa Bay isn’t an immediate threat to the B’s playoff spot, the two points that are up for grabs are. The mindset has to be that every single game is as important as a Game 7 type of situation. Winning is a must!