A lot of the build up for Game 2 saw us talking about where Zdeno Chara should be playing on the power play and focusing on how bad the Bruins power play has been through the playoffs. There’s also been the discussion of how good Roberto Luongo has been through the playoffs as well including a hot shutout streak heading into this game.
Consider all of those things null and void. Boston broke Luongo’s shutout streak at 138:54 when Milan Lucic scored on a goalmouth scramble at the 9:00 mark of the second period. The goal tied the game at 1-1 and got the Bruins the motivation they’d been sorely lacking in the game.
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The motivation and the momentum would be continued on the power play of all things just 2:35 later when Mark Recchi would tip home a Zdeno Chara shot from the point to make it 2-1 Boston. Chara was back on the point during that second period power play and having him help set up Recchi is doubly satisfying as Recchi had yet to score a power play goal in these playoffs despite logging the third most minutes on the man advantage in the playoffs for Boston. Recchi at 43 years-old is now the oldest player to score in the Stanley Cup finals in the NHL era.
For Boston, they’ve got the lead now and have to weather the next 20 minutes so they can head home with the series tied. Vancouver has to find a way to win back the strength of play and it starts with the Sedin twins as they’ve been relatively invisible in this game. If they can’t step up they have to get better play from elsewhere and hope that Tim Thomas (10 saves in the second, 20 overall) can give give up a goal or two. That might be asking a lot out of Thomas, but if the Sedins get their game going, Vancouver is better off for it.
One thing Vancouver will have to get past in the third is the Bruins power play that they’ll have for 59 seconds to start the period.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.