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Thomas, Bruins Youth Shine In Win Over Lightning

The Bear Essentials by Mark Feldman
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Boston Bruins' Chris Kelly (23) tries to control the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon, center, as Victor Hedman (77) and Ryan Shannon (22) defend in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Boston Bruins’ Chris Kelly (23) tries to control the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon, center, as Victor Hedman (77) and Ryan Shannon (22) defend in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s only natural that when a team wins a championship, their first game back may be a bit nerve-wracking. That seemed to hold true on Thursday night when the Boston Bruins took on the Philadelphia Flyers; ultimately losing the game 2-1.

Two days later, not the case.

Between a brilliant performance by Tim Thomas, chemistry improvements on each line and an overall good team effort, the Boston Bruins actually looked like a defending Stanley Cup team.

Read: Mark Feldman’s Blog: The Bear Essentials

Although the regular season will be filled with ups and downs, inconsistencies and questionable moves, it is at least safe to say that this team is capable of beating strong opponents. Here are three things to take away from the Bruins 4-1 victory over the Lightning on Saturday night.

Thomas Still Shines

Saturday’s game showed us that Tim Thomas still has the “IT” factor. Between his diving save on Ryan Malone and the acrobatic stop on Teddy Purcell, the “rust factor” was not part of the equation.  Watching his quick movements and ability to follow the puck, there is little reason to doubt that Tim Thomas should have another great season this year. By the end of the night he had stopped 25 out of 26 shots, leaving the game with a .961 goals against average.

The Youth Bring Hope

Both Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand played exceptionally well, totaling 4 assists between the two of them. Seguin continued to show  flashes of brilliance on the third line,  leading to several scoring chances. Brad  Marchand, even after receiving his contract, has not changed his style of play.  The effort and work ethic continues to be evident in his game. Not to mention “the pest” aspect is still there. When asked about his scrum with Lightning center Dominic Moore in the third period, Marchand responded by saying “ I don’t like the guy.”
Both players offer an energetic element to this team that will certainly benefit them moving forward.

Rich Peverley Fills Big Shoes

If there were any doubts about whether or not Peverley can compliment the 2nd line, Saturdays’ game put them to rest.  With 2 goals on the night, Peverley seems to be just the right person to take over Mark Recchi’s role. With the added element of speed, the Bruins 2nd line will prove to be a force this season.

On Saturday night, the B’s looked like a much improved team. Between Thomas’s performance and chemistry developing on each line, Boston played like a legitimate Stanley Cup defender.

Follow Mark Feldman on Twitter @mfsports21

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