Saturday, March 7, 2009


All he wanna do is a zooma-zoom zooma-zoom and a boom boom, and get to the net!
Ok, so maybe I have a hard time picturing the 41 year old Recchi "shakin' his butt" to an early '90's one hit wonder rap act, but HIS act hasn't gotten old in the least.
In a performance that should provide Coach Julien with enough coaching tape to last a life time, the newest Bruin picked up two huge goals. Recchi played exactly as expected. He was constantly around the net, and played a pretty physical game all over the ice. The young Bruins forwards should take notice of where both of his goals came from. Combined, they probably traveled no more than five feet. Funny how that works isn't it? He went to the blue paint and picked up two goals. This guy has made a great career out of doing just that. It's no fluke that that's where he makes his living and has piled up over 500 goals in his career.
I'm sure that effort wasn't lost on Blake Wheeler, as he sat watching the game from the press box. If Julien was trying to send him a message, he couldn't have asked for a better day to send it. Recchi's play spoke louder than any of Julien's lectures ever could.

The B's also got goals from a couple other guys that really needed the puck to bounce their way for a change. Most notably, David Krecji. He somehow squeezed past Huet on the short side post. Probably not a shot he thought he had a chance to score on. But exactly the kind of shot you have to take. Hey, maybe Recchi's influence has found it's way to Krecji already.

It was also great to see Phil Kessel pot one. His was no fluke though. Which may be even more encouraging. After Milan Lucic picked up the puck at his blue line, he started a three on two with Savard in the middle and Kess flying down the right wing. Looch fed Savard as he drove across the Chicago blue line, and Savvy laid a soft pass on Kess's tape. Kess wasted no time in firing a bullet of a wrist shot top shelf before Huet had a chance to get across his crease.

The scoring was capped off by "Mr. Empty Netter", PJ Axelsson. As much as some empty net goals can be "cheapies", Axe actually worked for and deserved this one. It was the exclamation point on a terrific shift (and game) for PJ. Earlier in the shift he did a great job of fore-checking, forcing Chicago to waste valuable time as the retreated behind their net to avoid his pressure. Then when they did get it to the Bruins blue line, Axe blocked the entry shot, and took off for his ENG.

Great work once again being rewarded. Defense to offense. Julien must have loved so much of this game.
But, that isn't to say it was a perfect game. Far from it. After playing what may have been their best period in weeks in the first, the Blackhawks really took it to them in the second. But for a couple hit posts and a wide open whiff job in the crease, Chicago could have easily had a 3-1 lead in the second. But Thomas held the B's in the game long enough for his mates to pop in a a pair of late period goals, so THEY went to the room with the 3-1 lead.

Chicago came out hard in the third as well, and sustained it for the full final twenty minutes. But once again, Tim Thomas stood tall and kept the B's in it. Despite surrendering a pair of goals in the period, Timmy was absolutely responsible for putting Axe in a position to get his clinching goal. Thomas made acrobatic saves all day, and I'm still stunned he didn't get one of the three stars.

Now the B's play the new-look Rangers in new York tomorrow afternoon. And sadly, it looks like the roster shuffling will have to continue in Manhattan. Whereas Wheeler was given the day off for a mental break, it looks like injury will force Julien's hand. Stephane Yelle fell awkwardly into the end boards in the second and didn't return. he's out for tomorrow and his status remains unclear for Tuesday in Columbus.
Zdeno Chara also took an awkward tumble into the boards right in front of the Bruins bench. He stayed on the ice and didn't miss a shift. But he was clearly laboring out there. He sucked it up and played so his team wouldn't be short handed, but it's worth keeping an eye on in New York. I assume he'll play, but it wouldn't surprise me if woke up very stiff and sore tomorrow. I'd consider him "probable", but you never know (it appeared to be his left knee).

My guess is that Wheeler is back in tomorrow and Hunwick sits.....although he really did look good out there again today I thought. Bitz will go back to his fourth line duty, replacing Yelle. Not sure if Montador is with the team, but if not Hunwick could supplant Hnidy on the blue line. His versatility could prove invaluable down the stretch.
It also figures to be Manny Fernandez's day in goal, as Julien has stated he needs to get him more time (interestingly, Julien specified that he wants to play Manny more because Thomas is better when well rested. I guess Manny should have no fantasy about taking over the #1 job any time soon, huh?).

All in all a very entertaining day at the Garden for all us old fans, and even the friends and family I had in attendance seeing their very first Bruins game in person. Let's hope the newbies are hooked, and tune in to another good showing tomorrow.

Go B's-Kynch

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