Bruins motivated by failed 'vengeance' against Penguins

Thornton1.jpgI was frankly appalled when the Boston Bruins failed to show any
emotion in their much-hyped rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This was the game they were supposed to get revenge for the Matt Cooke
injustice; no one was looking for some sort of violent backlash with
dirty shots and sticks to knees, but some sort of “we’ll get you back”
approach to the game would have been nice.

The NHL was making sure there weren’t any Todd Bertuzzi-esque acts of
vengeance, but they needn’t worry. The Bruins played as though they
forgot to set their alarm clocks that morning, and just drifted through
the most disappointing game I’ve seen from a team in years.

to Joe Haggerty of
, the Bruins used that wasted chance as
motivation for the rest of the season.

“People wanted
to see blood or a win, and we didn’t give them either one. If we’d just
gotten a win afterward people would have been happier than hell,” said
[Shawn] Thornton.

But that, strange as it seems, may have been the
turning point.

“It seems like guys really responded to some of
the negative criticism and have started to play a little bit better,”
said Thornton. “I don’t think we’ve had any passengers since then.”

Bruins won eight of their remaining 12 games after that loss to the
Penguins, and were able to secure a playoff spot thanks to actually
winning and not backing in to the postseason. They now have confidence
and momentum, something that hardly seemed possible just a month ago.

Bruins were close to becoming a sad, sad story at the end of the
season. It was great to see them actually rise to the occasion when it
really mattered. Now if they are able to make it past the first round,
and possible face Pittsburgh again? I’m certain we’ll see a bit more

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    Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

    Patrick Kane

    On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

    In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

    The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

    Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

    (There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

    Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

    ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

    It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

    Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


    So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

    They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

    Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

    Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

    If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

    Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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    For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

    The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

    They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

    It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

    Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
    Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
    Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
    Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

    Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.