Fifty-Five minutes into yesterday’s game, Gary Bettman may have been having a panic attack. The Winter Classic had turned into a trap fest.
It wasn’t high scoring, Ovechkin and Crosby highlighted, but instead was hard hitting, safe and a 1-0 game. In fact, it almost had a playoff feel to it. So, when the Bruins won in dramatic fashion, it reaffirmed to many the value of a “good ol’ hockey game,” and excitement in every shift.
So, beyond all the hoopla of the game, the Bruins game was no aberration. They played great defensively, but struggled to score. Moreover, they proved to be a battle tested team in taking it up a notch to draw penalties at the end of the game.
Instead of going with “Three Stars”, I’ll just add some thoughts from the Classic.
- The “SturmFace” is legend. I know I’ve been on Marco Sturm for being invisible a lot of the time, but, that wasn’t without due cause. How well he is playing now and his knack for scoring big goals is just an example of how he goes uneccessary invisible for weeks at a time. Still, the SturmFace picture from yesterday could be the best ever.
- Stevie Yzerman must have been smiling watching Patrice Bergeron play yesterday. Great on the power play at the end of the game and that play in overtime was about as good a play I’ve seen all season. No. 37 won two puck battles, and made an unstoppable no luck pass to Sturm in front of the net. Like I said earlier, Bergy should be a lock for the Selke award this season.
- That Derek Morris signing is looking pretty good right now, huh? Those slap passes are Coffey-esque, and he provides great leadership/attitude every game. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Bruins re-sign Mo for $3 million a year for a couple more years. He is very worthy of wearing the “A” once Marc Savard is done.
- Vladimir Sobotka is a nightmare on the forecheck.
- Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler have to get it together. Ryder may be running out of options if he doesn’t start producing. At least Wheeler has the it’s only my second season excuse, Ryder has the: “At least I have a good snapshot that I don’t use” excuse.