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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bruins-Bolts Game 2: The kid was hot tonight

Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher called it a "pond hockey game." He's absolutely right.

"They deserved the game and we don't," Boucher said afterward. He also talked about not wanting to win a game like this one because it gives you a false sense of security that you followed the proper process. Interesting points from the rookie NHL coach who has the trappings of a very, very tough chessmaster.

But in the meantime, Game 2 was about the Boston Bruins surviving because they got an epic performance from an unexpected source.

The 6-5 win by the Bruins tonight came in a game where the Lightning clawed back from being down by three goals in the 3rd period. This all after Tyler Seguin made his Boston arrival official in the second period.

Seguin's four points tied a Bruins club record for most offense in a single playoff period. Barry Pederson did it with a 3-1-4 effort on April 8, 1982 against the Buffalo Sabres. Peter McNab returned the favor four days later with a 1-3-4 performance again versus Buffalo. Kenny Linseman then equaled Seguin's 2-2-4 night on April 14, 1985 against the Montreal Canadiens.

That's quite some storied company for the 19-year-old who electrified the city of Boston tonight.

Had Seguin put up one more point, he would have been the first Bruin to five points in the playoffs since Vladimir Ruzicka's 1-4-5 night in Game 2 of the 1991 Wales Conference Final on May 3, 1991.

The win ties the series at 1 game apiece going back to Tampa, but make no mistake- if the Boston Bruins defenders don't play better in the Sunshine State, they'll return to Boston on Sunday down 3-1. The blue liners were atrocious tonight, and that's putting it mildly. Plenty of blame to go around and while Tim Thomas wasn't sparkling, he saved the bacon at the end, when his team went into Keystone Cops mode over the final four minutes and change.

"He made some big saves at the end and allowed us to win that game," Julien said of Thomas after the win.

The coach also had high praise for the Seguin-Michael Ryder-Chris Kelly line.

"He was extremely good tonight no doubt about that," Julien said of Seguin. "You can't forget Kelly in there. You look back before Bergie got injured there was Kelly, (Rich) Peverley and Ryder who did pretty well."

Oh, and the Bruins prevented a 10th consecutive loss in the Eastern Conference Finals going back to 1991. That counts for something.

"Just because we won the game tonight doesn't mean we're happy with it," said Julien.

His team is going to need to bear down and execute better or they'll be hard-pressed to win another game against a hungry and confident Tampa Bay team who nearly dealt the B's a crushing, devastating blow by coming back from this one.

Gotta love the NHL playoffs!


  1. So who gets scratched if Bergeron is good to go for Game 3? What will the lines be?

  2. Much as I hate to say it because he's such a team guy, but Shawn Thornton's skill set is not really required at this stage of the playoffs, and his hockey ability makes him more of a liability than an asset.

    Ironic, because it was Thornton who gave Tyler Seguin a pep talk about getting his chance and encouraged him during rounds 1-2, but I think it's Sugar who will have to sit now. Tampa isn't a trench warfare kind of team, so to me, Daniel Paille's speed/PK chops are more valuable than Thornton's hard work and character boost.