Saturday, October 8, 2011
Grudge Match: Bruins Ready For Lightning
Although the Boston Bruins lost their home-opener against the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday, surely Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas can continue his winning ways against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night.
Thomas guided the Bruins to an impressive 3-0-0 record against Tampa Bay last season and in the playoffs.
Despite scoring just a single goal against Philadelphia in Thursday's, 2-1, loss, hopefully Boston can rebound and win its first game as defending Stanley Cup champions. Bruins' center Brad Marchand scored the lone goal against Philadelphia goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Thomas was extremely impressive for Boston against Philadelphia by stopping a total of 29 shots. Boston's defense was especially tough in the third period as the Flyers got only four shots on net.
Boston forward Tyler Seguin earned his first assist of the season in the loss against Philadelphia.
"It's just about finding that switch to get into game mode and turn the page," said Seguin, who had 11 goals and 11 assists last season.
Something important to point out is the fact that Boston's goal against the Flyers occurred during a power play. The Bruins lacked the ability last season to score on the power play and hopefully this is something they've worked out for the coming campaign.
Hard to believe that the Bruins are not favored by one of the top sports publications to win the Stanley Cup. Although it hasn't been accomplished since the Detroit Red Wings (1997-98), if the Bruins remain healthy and Thomas remains hot, they can do it.
The Bruins are relying heavily on David Krejci and Milan Lucic to put up the kind of numbers they both did last season. Each player finished the year with 62 total points. Lucic led the team in scoring with a total of 30 goals and Krejci had the most assists (49).
I don't agree that Boston is suffering from any post Stanley Cup hangover. This team is full of scrappy players that fought hard to win last year's championship. Plenty of people thought Vancouver would sweep Boston in the Stanley Cup finals and that just wasn't so.
Boston is and remains the team to beat in the NHL and until they're beat they ride into this season as Stanley Cup champions, a title Beantown hasn't had graced on its beloved hockey club since 1972.