The Bruins went into tonight’s game looking for their seventh straight victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs after a 6-game series sweep last season. After a complete 180 degree turnaround, the Bruins defense helped earn a 1-0 victory against the Leafs thanks to a first period goal from Chris Bourque.
The Bruins traveled to Toronto without two-thirds of their ‘merlot line,’ as Shawn Thornton is out 7-10 days with a concussion and Daniel Paille is listed day-to-day with what is being deemed an ‘upper body injury,’ after receiving a high stick against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. With the absence of two of their key players, Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif were inserted into tonight’s lines, along with Chris Bourque who was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game.
At the 8:54 marker Chris Bourque proved why he deserves to wear the spoked-B on his chest as he drove the net with a guy on him, remained strong on his stick and was able to put the puck past James Reimer.
“I thought our guys for the fourth game in six nights competed really hard [the] forecheck was a lot better and resulted in not giving up any goals.”- Claude Julien
Through the final forty minutes of play the Bruins battled back and forth with the Toronto Maple Leafs, each team ‘scoring,’ only to have the plays reviewed and deemed no goals. As Brad Marchand wheeled around the Leafs net his skate caught what looked to be either the edge of the net or Reimer’s skate, sending hard into the halfboards. While he was able to establish a backhand pass around to Bergeron who shot it in front to Seguin for the deflection in that was later waved off for goaltender interference, he was slow to get up and went down the tunnel holding his shoulder. He reported to the NHL Network in an interview that the hit felt like a sharp sting when it happened, and at the time of this article there was no more information to report on the injury.
Lane MacDermid proved himself once again as he fought in his first game suiting up with the Bruins this season, in much of the same fashion as his NHL debut with Boston last season. His first fight was a stale mate, providing no winner or loser, however, in the second period he made a statement to the Toronto team facing off against Fraser and pummeling him to the ice. In the absence of Shawn Thornton, it is safe to say the Bruins have found their enforcer for the time being.
The Bruins defense was phenomenal tonight as Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid both sacrificed their bodies on numerous occasions. The defensive pairing efforts were completely different from what they showed in Thursday night’s game, providing a welcomed change of pace and much more solid sixty minute effort.
Tuukka Rask also provided the fans of Boston with more confidence in his play as he saw the ice perfectly and saved all twenty-one shots thrown in his direction, majority belonging to Dion Phaneuf. Rask earned his first shutout of the season and made this statement post-game:
“Overall team game was just great.” Tuukka told Naoko Funayama after the game, “I saw everything, the guys did a great job. I don’t think they [Leafs] had a lot of opportunities… I think this was just Bruins hockey, the way we should play every night. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen, but today was a great example of that.”
The Bruins head to the Belle Centre next to face off against the Montreal Canadiens who dominated the Buffalo Sabres tonight, winning 6-1. The game is on Wednesday and is being featured on NBCSN for their ‘Wednesday Night Rivalry’ game, face off is at 7:30PM. If you don’t want to listen to Pierre McGuire and his commentary, you can always tune into 98.5 the Sports Hub.