Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bruins vs. Leafs: Takeaways

What happened in this game? Better question: what didn't happen in this game?

Prediction validated: This morning, in the game preview, I prophesied:
The Bruins have consistently jumped out to large leads this season, only to let off the gas later in the game. If that happens again against Toronto, it might be costly.
Well, we might have gotten away with it, but when you're up 5-1 you shouldn't have to look over your shoulder at the end of the game.

Credit where it's due: Toronto is a much better team than they ought to be, and have shown a knack for surprising arrogant powerhouse teams. The Bruins are a young, flashy, slightly overconfident squad -- most nights those are good traits but not against a crafty team like the Leafs.

Criticism where it's due: While I'm glad to take the 2 points and run, we should keep games like this in mind as we get closer to April. Playoff-ready teams don't squander 4-goal leads to inferior opponents. Playoff-ready goalies don't relax when they feel like their teammates are going to carry them to victory.

Speaking of goalies: Let's hope Tim Thomas was simply in a funk after having played only three games in the past 23 days. Perhaps Julien let him accumulate a bit too much rust while Manny Fernandez was the hot hand, but it certainly has looked lately like Thomas is falling back to earth. Meanwhile, Manny plugs along having allowed only 5 goals in his last 4 full games (Timmy has allowed 14 in his last 5 games).

At what point does a goalie rotation become a goalie controversy?

Cringe-inducing moments:
Marco Sturm returns from a long injury, scores a goal, then leaves the game moments later with another injury.
Mike Van Ryn gets crunched by Milan Lucic, and looks wobbly as he heads back to the bench adjusting his helmet.
NESN generously allows a couple of young Jimmy V Foundation patients to provide play-by-play during segments of the first and second periods, but is unprepared to handle the sheer badness of the play calls. The only thing missing was a "Boom goes the dynamite".
1 game, 4 goalies. Ugh.

Looking ahead: The Bruins host the streaking WhalerCanes Saturday, before embarking on a crucial 5-game roadtrip to finish the Year 2008.

Other reviews:
Stanley Cup of Chowder
Hub Hockey
Hockey Journal
All the Leafs blogs are too busy talking Sundin to bother with a recap.

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The Bastahd said...

1 game, 5 goalies if you count the Toronto double-switch!

How bad did the Sturm injury look? Was at the game so I didn't really see or hear anything... just saw him bending his knee gingerly.

Tom said...

From what I saw he hit the boards and immediately reached down to his leg. He had a "oh shit that really hurts" look on his face while the trainer was tending to him, so I was surprised to see him get up and skate off under his own power.

But I couldn't see exactly what the injury was based on the replays... maybe some sort of joint twist or a deep bruise?