The Bruins beat the Rangers 1-0 in a OT shootout. Manny Fernandez started in goal and got the win and the shutout. Kessel won the game with a top shelf wrister as the Bruins 3rd shooter of the shootout.
A close tough game. I really liked how the Bruins played for most of this. A lot of good, tough, physical hockey. They held a good offensive Ranger team to 26 shots and held them scoreless.
It wasn't a perfect game, the Bruins took too many penalties with six, including two for both Murray and Chara.
They did draw a good amount of penalites, 16 minutes worth. However they never scored on the powerplay and never really even threatened. They never were able to set up in the zone, and never really had continued puck control in the offensive zone on the man advantage.
The offense was weak again this game, mustering only 19 shots, even with the numerous powerplays. The Bruins are currently last in average shots per game with 23. This is a result of coach Julien's restrained offensive philosophy which puts emphasish on defensive and neatral zone play.
Usually I would bemoan this, and the lack of offense is of concern, but with the young defense its probably for the best. I hope that Julien will amp up the offense later in the season when the defense gains experience and confidence.
Some things I noticed:
Milan Luccic is going to become a fan favorite very quickly. He's a good power foward and definately brings the body. He absolutely crushed a Ranger against the boards with a good legal hipcheck. Hopefully he'll see some more playing time as he has a good scoring touch, netting 30 goals last year in the WHL.
Savard and Murray seem off. Savard's passes that try to set up Murray for one-timers seem to be just missing. Murray has always been streaky, so I'd expect them to turn it on soon.
Manny was solid in goal, which comes as a relief to me because I do not want Thomas to be considered the number one starter. A tandem is what's best for both goalies. They each have shown that they work best in that situation. Thomas with Toivonen and Raycroft in the AHL and Manny with Roloson in Minnesota.
The Bruin's are 5-2 and I'm getting more excited about this season than I thought I would get. This is a very promising start.
*Ari went to see the P-bruins in Philly tonight, so maybe he'll post about it later.