Timmy Thomas continued his torrid start to the season with a brilliant 38-save show, blemished only by his wince-inducing puckhandling, as the Bruins rolled to their fourth straight win in highly entertaining and convincing fashion (again) by slapping the Caps for the second time in three days, 4-1.
Thomas kept Washington at bay during a first period barrage with a bevy of jaw-dropping saves that had the crowd jumping and kicking like 50-year-old ladies at the Apollo Theater on a Saturday night. He made huge save after huge save while his mates slowly calmed their opening night butterflies and a withstood a determined D.C. attack. Getting out of the period tied at zeroes was looking good but Mike Ryder took advantage of Matt Hendricks’ tripping penalty, scoring off a sweet Patty Bergeron feed for his second of the year to send the Bs up 1-0 after one.
Rookie Jordan Caron cashed in on Bergeron’s great backhanded blind pass in the slot to double the lead and Nate Horton’s fourth made it 3-0 when his power play tally bulled through Semyon Varlamov and dribbled into the net. Thanks to Thomas’ shutout-costing gaffe—he once again handled the puck like shit because he’s not good at it yet he insists on doing it during opportune times—Jason Chimera made puck line bettors start pulling on their collars halfway through the third. But the Bruins third power play goal of the night, a Zdeno Chara bomb from the right circle with 16 seconds left, sealed both the Bruins victory and those who took the +240 to ride this sudden cash cow for local followers.
Just a great night to be at the Garden. Place was bumping like Paris Hilton in the shitter on the way in with a loud, rowdy, and championship-hungry crowd getting chants going. After the pregame intros, in which Marc Savard got perhaps the loudest cheer, the Bs went out and gave the fans more to get loud and rowdy about. Thomas played his ass off in the first while his skaters got outplayed. But they came out full of piss and vinegar in the second to take command of the game. And even after the lead was cut to 3-1, the Bs didn’t blink. They stuck with what they were doing and got rewarded with the best Bruins home opener seen in some time. Bs are back at it tomorrow night as the Rangers and their obnoxious fans come to town to catch a beating.
A few more buds for your Friday bowl…
*If you’re a journo following the team, don’t incorrectly Tweet who is going to start if you don’t know for sure. Sure, the coach and Tuukka Rask allegedly had some fun at the beat guys’ expense. Still, nobody ever definitively said that he was starting so it shouldn’t be reported as such…even on Twitter. Motherfuckers are betting on these games, homes. Can’t be sending out tainted info to the Gambling-American community. It’s rather insensitive.
*Didn’t take long for the PP to get rolling, scoring three times in four chances. Let’s see if it’s consistent.
*You think Nate Horton likes the change of scenery? Imagine going from playing on a ‘going nowhere’ team in front of several thousand blueheads, rednecks, and Indians (the non-Squishee ones) to going to a packed building in a hockey town on a contender. I don’t think we’re going to be hearing any stories up hear about his commitment to his team this year. He and Lucic are the only Bs with at least a point in every game. Certainly nobody is longing for Brad Boyes anymore.
*As usual, Big Z led the team in ice with just under 29 minutes logged. Matt Hunwick was a team-low 8:47. Krejci, Wheeler, and Campbell led the forwards in a well-balanced dispersal of playing time.
*I saw there was a lot of bitching about Steven Tyler singing the National Anthem last night. Some clamored for Rene Rancourt, who has been doing just part-time duty for the last few years after being a Bruins fixture for decades. It wasn’t a total surprise the Bs went off-campus for opening night. I mean, it’s not like Rancourt had a streak going that needed to be respected or this is a big playoff game. Frankly, Bruins fans don’t know one game to the next if they’re getting Rene or not and don’t find out until the Bull Gang unfurls the carpet. So that’s why reaching out and grabbing a true rock-and-roll warrior and local legend Tyler was a good call. As a kid who spent his prepubescence endlessly listening to ‘Aerosmith, ‘Wings’, ‘Toys In The Attic’, and ‘Rocks’ on vinyl, it’s been tough to watch Tyler become a Karaoke-judging drama queen and I was skeptical, especially after that cheese-covered corn syrup from “Armageddon”. I’m not sure how it played on NESN, if it played on NESN at all. But the fans ate it up, myself included, and pretended to be Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer for the last few verses, as the song had a noticeable effect on the crowd and atmosphere. If you were there, it worked. All bullshitting aside, Tyler’s gonna go down as the pre-eminent American rock-and-roll star of the ‘70s and ‘80s and to have him come in your barn to sing the anthem was good shit. It wasn’t a diss to Rene in the least bit. The NHL Network’s ‘On the Fly’ was ridiculously bad with the Aerosmith puns (as are the “Steven Tyler is soooo old…” jokes that are 20 years old and weren’t funny the first time). Hack Central. Needless to say, they didn’t have What It Takes to Make It.
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