|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
After a couple weeks and two continents, the red-hot Bruins finally took the ice in front of the hometown fans in the Hub, and who better to kick off the Bruins season in the TD Garden than Boston vocal legend and soon-to-be American Idol judge, Steven Tyler. After the Aerosmith lead simger serenaded the crowd with the national anthem, it was game time. For the second straight time, the Capitals did not belong on the same sheet of ice.
One development as the game began was the starting goaltender situation, with Claude Julien opting for the hot hand in Tim Thomas, instead of going with Tuukka Rask. The young goalie was first off the ice in the morning skate, which usually indicates he will start that night, but he will instead start on Saturday against the Rangers.
Thomas did not disappoint, stopping 38 shots to get his fourth straight win to start the seasons, and the Bruins took down the Caps 4-1 with three power play goals.
Rookie Tyler Seguin made his regular season debut at the TD Garden for the B’s, and made an immediate impact. He assisted on Michael Ryder’s goal with 28 seconds to go in the first period, giving Boston the 1-0 lead.
Patrice Bergeron set up rookie Jordan Caron for the team’s second goal less than three minutes into the second period, and Nathan Horton scored his fourth goal of the year midway through the second to give the B’s a 3-0 lead. The last time the B’s had a 3-0 lead in Boston was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semis in the 2010 playoffs. We don’t need to go into what happened in that game.
Unlike those Bruins, this year’s crew actually has some offensive punch. Despite allowing Caps winger Jason Chimera to score, the Bruins were able to hold off Washington the rest of the way, and Zdeno Chara added insult to injury with his wrister that lit the lamp with less than 20 seconds to go.
Next up for the 4-1 B’s is a home contest with the Rangers on Saturday.