Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leafs vs. Bruins: Takeaways

All things considered, this was a good win for the Bruins. Down 2 goals to enter the third period, missing the majority of their scoring punch, heading into the All-Star break and riding a 2-game losing streak... that's when you need your best players to step up.

Three stars of the night:

Blake Wheeler - I'm going to stop calling him a "kid" before too long. He stepped up and publicly took responsibility for the Blues loss, then came out and played a key role in taking this game away from the Leafs. Big, big, big kudos to him for having that kind of chutzpah.

Marc Savard - There's an unknown highlight that you'll never see on Youtube -- with 6:00 to go in the second period, Savard completely took control of a shift in Gretzky-like fashion. Even though it didn't lead to a goal, he made four different setup passes to different players, each a no-look touch pass on the move. Then he made the key assist on Chara's tying goal. Only a few players in the world can control a game like that.

Martin St. Pierre - That penalty in overtime was the kind of thing that can get a guy sent back to the AHL, but Julien showed faith in the kid in the skills competition... not unlike his choice of Wheeler in Monday's shootout. That's great coaching, and it's paying huge dividends in confidence.

Other game reviews:
Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Hockey Blog Adventure
The Bear Cave

Also of interest:
Hub Hockey asks -- was Tim Thomas' hit on Jason Blake legal? Leave your 2 cents in the comments.
Leafs Hockey Analysis provides a fascinating, detailed look at the Bruins' rebuilding plan and what lessons the Leafs might take away from it.
All Habs is convinced that Tim Thomas is nothing but "smoke and mirrors". Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of the debate.

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phil said...

Has anybody seen any sort of logical explanation as to why David Krecji didn't make the NHL Young Star sophomore team?

Tom said...

There is no logical explanation... Krecji is far and away the brightest player left off the roster. The only thing I can fathom is that they were looking to spread the roster spots across a greater number of teams. But frankly, Krecji deserves the nod more than Wheeler.