Mixed Results for the Bruins in West Coast Trip

The Boston Bruins return home for their Martin Luther King Day afternoon matinee game against the Ottawa Senators having earned three of a possible six points on their brief West coast road trip.  They sandwiched an improbable shootout win against the San Jose Sharks with two games in which they gave up third period leads, so for the Bruins, it felt like they could/should have come home with more than three points. But this team was playing with so many missing components heading into these three games that a 1-1-1 record has to be seen as at least a semi-successful road trip.

Game 1 – Anaheim 1/13/10

In the first game against Anaheim, Tuukka Rask was in-goal for the Bruins facing NHL player of the week Jonas Hiller between the pipes for the Ducks.

Teemu Selänne was also in the lineup for the Ducks. On the verge of turning 40 next summer,  Selänne had what is still arguably the greatest NHL rookie season of all time in 1992-93 when he had 76 goals and 132 points for the Winnipeg Jets.

He would suffer a broken jaw late in the game that will sideline him for 4-8 weeks:

TRIVIA QUESTION (Answer at bottom): Anaheim Head Coach Randy Carlyle won the Norris trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 1980-81.

For what team was he playing that season?

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period, a period which featured two pretty good bouts – the first Adam McQuaid/Troy Bodie tussle was one of the best I’ve seen this year:

Byron Bitz and Kyle Chipchura also got pugilistic:

In the second period, goals from Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm (beautiful tip-in) gave the B’s a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

But, as this video of the Bruins third period shows, they would blow the lead and the game, losing 4-3:

Game 2 – San Jose 1/14/10

The next night in San Jose against the Sharks

the Bruins would have to get right back on the horse against one of the best teams in the NHL.  If not for the Bruins effort in this game, the road trip would have been a complete disaster. Wit David Krejci out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury, the Bruins went into this game with no natural centers in the lineup.  Tim Thomas would make 41 saves, a season high, as the Bruins would upset the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout.

Joe Thornton would get the lone Sharks’ goal.

Captain Zdeno Chara blasted home a rare shootout slap-shot for the deciding goal:

TheBostonBruinsShow sums up the BIG win for the Bruins nicely:

Here’s the complete game highlights from NHL.com:

******

Game 3 – Los Angeles 1/16/10

Coinciding with the regional Northeast holiday of Hamfest,


the Bruins wrapped up their brief western road trip with a Saturday afternoon game  at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Could the Bruins carry over the momentum fromwin over San Jose?

The game marked the return of center David Krejci.

Less than three minutes into the game, Adam McQuaid and Brandon Segal dropped the gloves:

McQuaid is showing a rugged side that could well earn him a place on a team that is really still searching for it’s identity.

Shawn Thornton earned his 13th fighting major in 45 games this season when he squared off with Raitis Ivanans just after the Kings took a 1-0 lead:

Before the end of the first period, Miroslav Satan would get his second goal since signing with the Bruins to tie the game at 1.  A pair of goals 11 seconds apart by Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder would give the Bruins a 3-1 lead after two periods of play.  But another third period collapse would allow the Kings to come away with a 4-3 shootout victory.

Here’s the full NHL.com highlights from this disappointing game for the Bruins:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20092010,2,710

While they earned a point with the shootout loss, they should have come back to Boston with a win and two-points.  Any momentum from the win over the Sharks is gone, and the Bruins have now lost four of theri last five contests.  The B’s remain in fifth place in the conference, a mere four points from being out of the playoff picture. Patrice Bergeron could return as soon as tomorrow against the Senators, while Marc Savard is 2-3 weeks from a return from a knee injury.  Milan Lucic has had some major cobwebs since his return, and the Bruins need him to return his Tasmanian Devil form of old (with all due respect to Terry O’Reilly).

The Bleacher Report

Here’s an interesting article from the Bleacher Report

“This is a compilation of the Boston Bruins’ top acquisitions via trade or free agency of all time. All of these players had an impact on the franchise, but not all of them resulted in championships.

These players skated for the Bruins for many years or a short while. However, they are listed here because they all helped the Boston Bruins for the better during their stay.”

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TRIVIA ANSWER: The Pittsburgh Penguins

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