On Saturday night, the Boston Bruins took on a Western Conference opponent for the first time this season, and it was success for the Boston club. The Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout, 3-2. It was also their first shootout and overtime game of the season. Here are my five observations and thoughts as the Bruins picked up their second win of the season.
Number Five- Power Play Woes
The power play looks like the power play of last year, and that isn’t good. Sure, they won a Stanley Cup with that man advantage, but they had the worst power play to ever win the Cup. Not exactly something that is easy to repeat. The Bruins need Joe Corvo to take more wristers at the point compared to slap shots, and they need the wingers to cycle in and create traffic in front of the net. Sounds easy enough, but they haven’t been able to fix this problem in two years now.
Number Four- Milan Lucic (Again)
Last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, I said that I think Milan Lucic is what he is and he won’t become the star we thought he was. Now, I’m starting to wonder if he can be a second line player. Every game this season Lucic has looked slower than his linemates, not a good thing when he is playing with Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton. Lucic, if he has an injury, has to figure out how to keep healthy. Because either he is not healthy, or he is just really slow out there right now.
Number Three- Tyler Seguin
SeguinMania continues in Boston. Last night he scored the game winning shootout goal, and again played 20 minutes while centering the top line. It might be time to mix up some lines, as some players are not working out, but Seguin certainly is with his added ice time. His two way play has also improved, as he did not have one give away all game and he did have a take away.
Number Two- Neutral Zone Issues
Andrew Ference made a horrid pass that gave the ‘Hawks a goal last night, and that was one of many neutral zone mistakes, this was just the only one that hurt them. All season long this has been a problem for them, with turn overs and just lazy plays in general. This happened early on in the Stanley Cup series versus Vancouver last year, and then they were able to fix it. They have to do that again right now.
Number One- Goaltending
Tim Thomas was spectacular once again, making 27 saves on 29 shots. He has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL once again this season, but the Bruins have a secret weapon in Tuukka Rask. Rask has played only one game this year, a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Having Thomas and Tuukka makes the Bruins a dynamic team in net, as that is the reason they won the Cup last season, and is a reason they will compete this year.
The Bruins return against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night at the Garden. I will be there to cover the game live, so make sure to watch for my Five Observations.