(This is what Pres doesn’t get about hockey players. They ain’t pussies)
If there was a game that the Bs might’ve mailed in down the stretch run, last night was likely it—a visit by a nearly-desperate defending Cup champion Blackhawks team playing for their playoff lives against a home team hoping to stay healthy for a lengthy playoff run that has, more than once this year, shit the bed.
Instead, fans were treated to an entertaining 3-0 Bruins win that featured yet another Tim Thomas shutout and saw Mark Recchi become the 12th leading point getter in NHL history when his second period assist pushed him past Paul Coffey on the all-time list (he was given a standing O by the Garden crowd). He nows sits 47 points behind Ray Bourque and lets hope he stays there because after the game, the future HHOF member proclaimed that this will indeed be his last season if the Bruins win the Cup.
Tim Thomas must have heard the several days of chatter suggesting that perhaps Carey Price or Henrik Lundqvist was a more worthy Vezina Trophy winner because, after a brief hiccup, Tank reverted back to his season-long form in his last four stars, winning all four games (two shutouts) with ridiculous numbers of 0.50 and .983. Never mind Vezina, Thomas’ name belongs in the MVP discussion, though realistically he has a better chance of winning the Lester Pearson/Ted Lindsay Award than the Hart Trophy (the former is voted on by the players and the latter by the hockey media).
The game did have a pretty scary moment when Shawn Thornton caught a skate just above his right eye in the second period. Leaking like the victim of a World Star Hip Hop video, the rugged forward immediately headed for the bench. But a few feet from the door, he immediately turned for the Blackhawks’ bench after one of them said something to really piss him off. Lucky for whoever the big mouth was, Thornton was restrained by referee Don VanMassenhoven before he could get at anybody. According to Thornton, the referee also admonished the Hawks for their shitty behavior (and yes, talking shit to a guy when he nearly lost his eye is much different than claiming an organization—not a player—milked an injury). Still, a part of me wishes that a raging, bloody Shawn Thornton was able to ragdoll a mouthy prick with half his forehead hanging off.
But overall, a good night for the Bs. Rather than hitting the snooze button, the team was engaged and looked like they want to fine-tune their game on the eve of the playoffs. The result was a quality win over a quality opponent that can only increase the team’s confidence with just six games to go. Next up is Toronto tomorrow night at the Garden.