Chara being out could have been more disasterous than it was last night. The defense played well, although its obvious that Steve Kampfer isn't the answer going forward. I'm not going to rip the kid's head off and put it on a fence post, although it would show dominance, but the mistakes he made and the penalties he took were lazy. Maybe he was just shaking the rust off, I don't know. All I know is that it's a good thing the Bruins were playing the Kings last night, a team that is looking for an identity of it's own. Throughout most of that game, the Kings looked to be a mess. Terrible zone entry, terrible defense and if anyone but Jonathan Quick was in net, the score would've been closer to 6 or 7.
The defense, and especially the penalty kill, held it's ground.
But fuck it, let's get all into this recap's ass...
- Tuukka Rask. Holy shit, how good was Tuukka Rask last night? He stopped 41 shots and earned his first shutout of the season (9th in his career). Tuukka looked on point last night and if that is sustainable throughout the season, the Bruins truly are unbeatable. There's been a lot of debate lately about Rask being a number one goaltender. I think nights like last night really shut some people up. Want a mind blowing stat:
The Boston Bruins have two goaltenders in the top five in each goals against average (Tuukka is #2 at 1.82, Thomas is #4 at 1.92) and save percentage (Tuukka #2 with .939, Thomas is #3 at .938).Amazing right?
Rask was on his game last night and even when the defense seemed to fall behind a little and allow a bevy of shots, Rask was able to turn away most with ease.
- It's the Kings.
If the Bruins were going to play anyone without Chara being in the line-up, the Kings were the team to play. They're struggling to find out who they are, they're riding a four game (now five) losing streak and they can't get out of their own way. You never want to label a team as bad, especially one as likeable as the Kings, but last night they were bad. It was the perfect match-up for the Bruins to get some guys off the schneid (looking at you Marshmont).
- The Third Line. Pouliot-Hamill-Peverley. They looked on fire last night for a line that hasn't really played together. With Gregory Campbell out for awhile with a broken bone in his foot, it looks like this line may stick together. I would also expect Claude to sprinkle in Chris Kelly throughout some shifts. That goal by Rich Peverley was hockey at it's finest.
I highly doubt that this line will play at this intensity, or even be together, while Soupy is out. The one thing I liked about Rich Peverley, despite the obvious goal, was his speed. Peverley was up and down the ice like lightning in a bottle last night. I don't know if he was "feeling it" or if the Kings are that bad, but Peverley was making them look bad. All hail Raptor Jesus!
- Brad Marchand. The honey badger was huge last night, potting goals 10 and 11 on the year. Marchand was able to get off the schneid while Seguin sits on it (or sleeps on it) but it was good to see some production out of him. Maybe the $2,500 he was fined for slewfooting Niskanen woke him up. The honey badger has awoken!
- The Penalty Kill. Killing five penalties isn't easy, especially when one of them is a 5-on-3. Sure, the Kings aren't lights out on the power play (21st overall at 16.1% success) but when you give an opponent a lot of chances, there's always a chance they capitalize. The penalty kill was good last night and allowed 5 shots on 5 powerplays. Limiting a team to 1 shot per power play is excellent.
- Steve Kampfer. I can't stand the kid. Last year I gave him a shot, but I'm done with him. Get him out of there. Luckily he's the 7th defenseman and (hopefully) won't have to answer the call for most of the season. Even though he only took two penalties last night, I felt that Kampfer was always being called on in a negative light. The holding call was a lazy mistake and then the kid bitched all the way to the box. Shut your mouth and feel shame for two minutes.
- Discipline. The Bruins took five penalties, which isn't bad in theory, but the problem is that one penalty negated a power play (Looking at you, Lucic) and the other was a mistake that gave LA a 5-on-3 (Kejci's over the glass beaut). Again, it's just the Kings so this is okay, but when playing a better team this is unacceptable.
- How will the Bruins defense handle back to back games that includes a road trip to Ottawa?
- Which Tim Thomas will we see tonight?
- Will Jon ever find Batman underwear?
- Will Chara play tonight?