If someone was going to tell me that the Bruins would score seven goals in one game against the Flyers, I probably would have laughed at them. This is the same team that had a lot of trouble shooting the puck on Carey Price, let alone putting the puck behind him. If the same person finished that sentence with "...and the Bruins still wouldn't score on the power play." I would have just nodded and sighed because the power play is still an atrocity.
Well the Bruins looked really good on Saturday while the Flyers looked really bad. What's that mean? It means Boston probably played as good as it can while the Flyers weren't even close. I think we won't see another 7-3 victory anytime soon. I think we'll see more 4-3, 3-2 games, but Philly's goaltending is suspect. Finally, a team that has really avoided getting a goalie for the past 10 years has their ass bitten by the problem. Saturday showed that the most vulnerable position for the Flyers is between the pipes and for Boston to continue winning, they need to keep shooting the puck. Doing this extra pass bullshit isn't going to cut it because the Flyers goaltending isn't good. You don't need to get the goalie moving laterally because Boucher is liable to give up huge rebounds. Two of the five goals he let in were directly related to rebounds, something the Canadiens capitalized early on in round one against Tim Thomas.
I would expect much of the same from the Bruins tonight. The Bruins need to continually attack the net. If they are able to garner some traffic in front of either Boucher or Bobrovski then put shots on net and clean up rebounds, they have a fighting chance. Right now the Philadelphia defense is vulnerable, especially with Chris Pronger still healing from his right wrist/hand injury. Saturday Boston took a big lead and never lifted their foot from the gas pedal and didn't allow the Flyers to come back in the game. They brought their A game and stuck to a plan which worked out.
Wait, you mean if you go up big and still attack a team, you can win hockey games? I'm astonished!
The power play still looks dreadful but the Philadelphia power play doesn't look any better, which is a good thing. At least when Philly goes up a man, the Bruins will have an easier time killing it off than they did against the Canadiens. Every time Montreal went on the power play, you knew a goal was coming out of it. When Philly goes on the power play, its really a craps shoot, which is nice.
Boston is in control so far in this series. If they're able to win Game 2 and go back home it will put them in a good position, but we've seen this movie before. I know that last year is different but it still happened. This Bruins team is definitely different but that series should always linger in the back of the mind of the fans. It was crushing man and I don't think I could deal with that again.
If the Bruins go up 2-0, at least Philly still has their women.
After the jump, projected roster and game day links...
March Recchi - Patrice Bergeron - Brad Marchand
Michael Ryder - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Shawn Thornton - Greg Campbell - Danny Paille
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Doughberle - Adam McQuaid
Game Day Links:
- Haggs thinks Lucic is ready to break on through to the other side (Doors reference ftw)
- The NHL cracks down on...well...everything
- Joe McDonald says the Bruins aren't resting after the big blowout
- Matt Kalman says Thomas loves traffic in front of the net
- The Boston Bias looks at Krejci's role in Game 1
Game Day Video: