|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Point-wise, the Bruins should be happy they haven’t played as many games as other teams, because they blew a tough game against the Rangers Saturday, 3-2. Passing was the theme of the evening for Boston, which at times led them to forget that you have to shoot the puck to score. New York jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, then traded goals with Boston until the 2nd, at which point no team could do anything more against the other.
Within 21 seconds in the 1st period (at 11:34 and 12:01), New York put two goals past Tuukka Rask, making his first start since screwing up the season opener, and GAA-wise, wasn’t much better. The first goal was a power play goal, put right past him, and the second was a floater; Rask took several attempts at a glove save, but couldn’t get the puck, which floated over his head in slow motion (compared to usual puck speed, at least).
Boston answered back with five seconds left in the period to make it 2-1. Zdeno Chara put one in the net, but it took a 5-on-3 situation for the Bruins to finally solve Henrik Lundqvist. This came after a total of 13 penalties were noted in the 1st period, as compared to five for the other two periods put together. Those penalties included three fights, a misconduct call on New York’s Sean Avery for the first fight, two slashes, and several other minors.
Then Rask let another goal past him 48 seconds into the 2nd period (53 seconds after Chara’s goal). Not exactly the kind of thing you want to see happen when you’re trying to claw back into a game. That carried over later on in the period, when in a span of 30 seconds (give or take), the Bruins had several (or maybe even several squared; it was tough to count) chances with the puck immediately in front of the net, almost guaranteed to score each time, but each time hit it wide, at best. It took until 12:27 into the 2nd for Nathan Horton to finally put a wrist shot in for the final goal of the game.
The rest of the 2nd and all of the 3rd boiled down to a chess match. Each team was feeling each other out, and taking a shot every now and then when an opportunity arose, but nothing more could be done. New York had a few good looks with an empty net in the last 1:06, but was hassled too much to put it in.
Chara and Horton kept the Bruins in it. Someone else on the team might have been a hero if they hadn’t taken one extra pass, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
The defense, while good for much of the game, allowed one too many goals. Tuukka Rask had something to do with it, not only for letting easy goals past him, but I can’t help but notice Tim Thomas has resulted in the Bruins playing much better.
I’ve got to go with that stretch in the 2nd where the Bruins couldn’t get it done, then couldn’t get it done, then … couldn’t get it done. The first time the pucks was literally just sitting there, too. It’s a simple sand wedge chip.
Definitely, the 1st period. We saw Mark Stuart vs Sean Avery, Shawn Thornton vs Derek Boogaard, and Milan Lucic vs Brandon Prust; two more and we would’ve been able to field a couple of Survivor Series team. Avery got a misconduct for his excessive actions, but the top fight goes to Thornton, for forcing Boogard against the glass.