It wasn't pretty, but it's 2 points and in the end that's all that matters. The Bruins looked sloppy and sluggish throughout the game tonight and needed some luck (see: Campbell game tying goal) but eventually took control in the third period and beat the New York Islanders 4-2.
The Bruins fourth line really clicked tonight and played like the first line while the third line is disgustingly terrible. I'll go through everything when we break it down in Positives/Negatives/Lingering Questions.
There's isn't much to say about this game as a whole. The Bruins did some things well (penalty kill, Hamilton) and they did some things terribly (power play) and but was basically average/ They played down to their opponent, which could be expected because coming off of an overtime game versus the Rangers could make anyone not give a shit.
Let's be honest, it's the Islanders and Boston is known to play down to their opponent at times. It's like getting excited to perform a play in front of people and walk out to see 4 children sitting there.
But like they say, two points is two points and the Bruins now lead the Eastern Conference with 7 of them.
After the jump, lets break it down…
Merlot Line: The Merlot Line was on fire tonight. Each member finished the game with a point (Thornton goal, Campbell goal, Paille assist) and dolled out some punishment along the way (Paille hit, Thornton "fight"). They did their job tonight and brought some much needed energy
In a shortened season (or any type of season) there will be games where you need someone other than your first two lines to step up. The Merlot Line has been a staple of the Bruins since their inception and tonight they proved that they are valuable. They've earned their ice time.
Dougie Hamilton: Is this kid for real or are we all just dreaming? Hamilton had a strong performance against the New York Rangers, and if you can believe it, topped that performance against New York's bastard children. Hamilton was average in his defensive zone, but made plays to get the Bruins on the board. He assisted on Greg Campbell's goal and was the reason why Chara's goal was set up in the offensive zone.
The dude is just balls to the wall lights out right now. Shit, the Garden appreciated his play so much tonight that they chanted "Dougie! Dougie! Dougie!" in the third period. Also, he had a rocket of a slapper on DiPietro. This kid is so close to putting the puck in the net and I'm sure my timeline on twitter will explode when he does.
Milan Lucic: What can I say? Another strong game for Lucic tonight. He was the primary reason why Chara scored that goal (it was a great feed to the big guy) and he dropped Carkner with one shot to the chin in the first period.
I don't like Lucic, but I love that I'm being proven wrong about him this season.
Bergeron's Goal: He is going to make some woman very happy and then very, very sad.
Third Line: Chris Kelly played almost 15 minutes tonight. Rich Peverley played 14:43 and Chris Bourque played a little over 12 and the LINE combined 1 shot. I'm not sure what's going on with this line, but their get up and go has seemingly got up and went. Last year this line proved to be a big help to the Bruins, but it's been acting more like a fourth line than a third. I'm not sure if their chemistry is off or they're still getting into the groove of things, but it may be time for Claude to do something soon.
Power Play: Sucks.
Sloppy Play: Boston was sloppy throughout the night and it cost them a goal when Keith Aucoin blasted #2 past Tuukka. I'm not sure if the ice was a reason for the sloppiness or if it was the fact Boston was playing the Islanders, but they were shit. They couldn't handle the puck, they couldn't make crisp, clean passes and they were skating around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Tyler Seguin: 0 goals. Kid is so snake bitten.
– Can we just give Brian Burke third assists when it comes to Hamilton and Seguin?
– Is Anton Khudobin real or did the Bruins just make him up to make Tim Thomas jealous?
– If the Islanders score a goal, but Long Island doesn't give a shit, should it even count?
– When Keith Aucoin scores a goal, can we punch Justin?
– Does the guy who runs the music at the Garden only have the Dropkick Murphys discography?