|Ciao Bella! Celtics Open Pre-Season with win in Milan, Italy||Drew Brees Joins Tom Brady as Members of the 400 Club||Red Sox Season Finale Sees Orsillo’s Last Call, Farrell, Lovullo Announcement||Connelly’s Top Ten: Season Over, Bye Over, Old Restaurants|
Before shutting out the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 Thursday, Boston honored their legendary player, coach, and GM Milt Schmidt. He had the honor of raising his own retired number to the top of the TD Garden, and was presented with two mini Stanley Cups for the ones he won in 1939 and 1941. It was quite the touching moment for the surprisingly spry 92-year-old.
Once the game started, Boston wasted no time in going to work, holding the potent Leafs to low shooting totals, and stuffing the chances they did get. With how well they were playing, you could tell Tim Thomas was in net. But the MVP of the game just may have been the crowd. They really got to Phil Kessel with their jeers, and thanks when he messed up; Kessel was held to six shots and a -1 +/- rating, with no goals or assists.
After some back and forth action, including two power plays per side, it looked like the 1st period would end without incident, but Patrice Bergeron would have none of that. With 41 seconds left in the period, and 42 seconds into the B’s second power play, he nailed a slap shot into the net to give Boston a lead.
After a few more penalties, a fight included, Boston kept the pressure on Jonas Gustavsson, and rookie Tyler Seguin capitalized on a wrist shot to put the Bruins up 2-0 12:26 into the 2nd. From there on out, it was just a matter of clock management, and continuing to hold the Leafs back in terms of opportunities, which Thomas and the Bruins did quite nicely.
Tim Thomas and the Defense. 20/20 in saves, Kessel a non-factor, enough said.
There was one golden opportunity for Toronto, but they couldn’t get it done in all the chaos. Plus, one of their shots dinged the post, but a shutout is a shutout.
Since it really was a great game, I’ll just say that Milt Schmidt looks sort of like if Bob Barker had lost to Happy Gilmore. No, but he looked pretty good. He ages well like Barker, and does resemble him a little. Like Cam Neely/Tom Bergeron and Tim Thomas/Drew Carey.
10:58 into the 2nd, Nathan Horton slayed Dion Phaneuf and took him right down to the ice. That means the fight is supposed to stop, but Phaneuf kept on punching, Horton defended himself, and Horton was the one given the 10-minute misconduct. Refs. And linesmen.