TALKING POINTS: Colin Miller steps up in win over Kings
Here are the talking points from the Bruins’ 1-0 win over the Kings Sunday.
Colin Miller has been maddeningly inconsistent at times over the last couple of seasons, but he was very good against his former LA Kings organization. Miller fired the shot that Jimmy Hayes was able to redirect past Peter Budaj for the game’s only goal, and was a plus-1 player in his 17:48 of ice time skating mostly with Kevan Miller. Miller also finished with three shots on net, a couple of hits and a couple of blocked shots while also getting almost four minutes of PP time with a second unit that had the better of the chances on Sunday. Claude Julien said the last couple of games might be the best that Miller has played since hopping on board with the Bruins, and that bodes well for the future if he can keep it up on a consistent basis.
Jake Muzzin has been a pretty good player for the Kings over the last few seasons, but he wasn’t very good for Los Angeles in this one. He was on the ice and in front of the net during Jimmy Hayes goal-scoring tip, and had three giveaways in his 18:12 of ice time while looking like he was heavy-legged in the middle of a long East Coast road trip. Muzzin also only finished with a single shot on net and wasn’t really much of a factor after getting victimized for a goal by the Bruins new-look fourth line in the first period. In general, many of the Kings players looked like they were missing that snap and urgency that a team has when they’ve got their good skating legs. Instead they looked like a bit of a tired hockey club the Bruins were catching at the right time.
Clearly there was the first period goal, but a bigger stretch that allowed them to win the game was killing a Los Angeles power play in the third period after Tim Schaller was whistled for tripping Drew Doughty. The Kings finished 0-for-4 on the power play in a game that was fairly light on dominance in the special teams department. So the Bruins penalty kill stepped up after the B’s power play had blown a four minute PP opportunity earlier in the period, and they shut down an LA attack that should have been desperate to tie things up. Instead the Kings didn’t have much of a push and the Bruins were determined not to have any slippage in a tight game where there was very little margin of error.
Credit where it’s due: Jimmy Hayes scored his second goal in the last 42 games, and played well in the 7:18 of ice time that he was given by Claude Julien. Hayes jumped in front of the net and redirected the Colin Miller shot past Peter Budaj for his second goal of the season, and then set up another Miller chance on a solid pass from the right wing to the trailing defenseman. Hayes finished with two shots on net, two hits and a blocked shot in his limited time on the ice with fellow fourth liners Anton Blidh and Dominic Moore, but all three players had some hard-working shifts together when they did hop over the boards. Nobody is going to expect this kind of performance every night, or even most nights, after what we’ve all season over the last two seasons, but the Bruins don’t win on Sunday without No. 11 in the lineup.
BY THE NUMBERS
Seventeen: The number of one goal games for the Bruins this season, including a fourth consecutive one-goal game Sunday afternoon. Bruins are 10-4-3 in those one-goal games this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We seem to like winning these tight games...these low-scoring games. That’s all right. Today I thought our team defense overall was tremendous.” -- Tuukka Rask, happy to be the proud owner of his fourth shutout of the season after a solid defensive effort from the Bruins.