The Bruins opening night 3-1 win over the New York Rangers was worth the wait, not that long of a wait, but a very good way to start a 48 game season where every game will be important in this year’s playoff drive. Some thoughts:
- Tuukka Rask did as well as anyone would hope. The Bruins defense did what they do best by reducing the amount of quality chances and limiting the shots. Rask had a relatively easy night and the one goal he allowed was a forgivable screen shot he probably did not see.
- Dougie Hamilton got his feet wet right away on the second unit power play on the right point. He saw action late in the game even as the Bruins protected a lead in the 3rd. He looked comfortable out there and didn’t have any noticeable errors, which is more than you could ask from a 19 year old rookie in his first NHL game against a quality opponent.
- Interference looks like its going to be the “penalty of the year”. Every time they called one on the Bruins I kept expecting Kyle Arrington to skate into the box.
- I love Chris Kelly, he is everywhere he needs to be on the ice on both ends.
- High marks for David Krejci who did work in both zones on the Lucic goal, making a play in the defensive zone, then the shot on goal resulting in the big rebound for Lucic.
- Speaking of Lucic, while the misconduct at the end was questionable, he needs to know the game situation there and ease up on the yapping. Luckily he didn’t get a minor there.
- The “Fribble Line” got it done on both ends for the second period goal. (Note: name is a reference to 98.5’s Michael Felger who is always saying that Claude Julien is so in love with his fourth line that he takes them to Friendly’s for Fribbles after every game.) Dan Paille made a play in the defensive zone than got in front of Lundqvist to tip home Greg Campbell’s shot for a 2-0 lead. Later in the game Thornton took care of a pretty tough customer in Mike Rupp who wins more fights than he loses.
- The key sequence of the game came with the Rangers on the PP in the 3rd. Bergeron and Marchand miss-connected on a 2 on 1 shorthanded chance which led to a breakout by Rick Nash. Chara’s subsequent penalty led to a Rangers 5 on 3 PP with Chara in the box. The Rangers went five forwards but the B’s took care of the situation with both Bergeron and Kelly centering the PK unit. If Bergeron has ever lost an important face-off I’ve never seen it.
- Speaking of Nash, he is going to have a huge season. I felt he was going to score on every shift.
- The PP went 0-fer but I thought they played well, controlled tempo and got quality chances. I forgive them for the first one early in the game because that’s probably the worst time to go a man up. The B’s went four forwards right away with Krejci as the point man.
- Lundqvist is probably the best goalie in the game; he made several highlight reel stops, but allowed a gigantic rebound on the Lucic goal and probably should have handled the Paille goal as well. He can play on my team any day though.
- All things considered as good a start as one could ask for. They will see the Rangers again in MSG later this week, and they are one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
Follow me on Twitter @WAquilante