BOSTON – The Bruins seem to lose a new body to injury with each passing day, but it hasn’t stopped them from surviving and winning hockey games.
Missing three of their top offensive forwards from their lineup, the Bruins got goals from up and down the rest of the roster to take an impressive 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden. The Bruins have now taken points in seven of their last eight games, and continue to tread along with a severely undermanned lineup.
The Bruins actually gave up the first goal of the game, and didn’t look very good doing it. Tuukka Rask kicked out a Ryan Suter shot directly in front of the net, and Nino Niederreiter had all day to corral the rebound and flip it past Rask.
But after that it was all Bruins, all the time. Less than six minutes later Jake DeBrusk simply took the puck away from Jarred Spurgeon in front of the Minnesota net, and then banked a shot into the net off Suter camped out in front. Frank Vatrano followed a couple of minutes later with a long distance snapper that ended a 25-game goal-scoring drought dating back to last season, and the Bruins had a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Sean Kuraly added his second of the season in the second period after following shots from Tim Schaller and Danton Heinen, and David Pastrnak served up a perfect dish for Torey Krug to step into and fire past Devan Dubnyk. The Wild got one back in the third period from Mikael Granlund to make it a two-goal game, but Rask stoned Granlund on a subsequent penalty shot attempt that really could have made it interesting down the stretch.
Erik Staal scored on a shorthanded goal in the final five minutes to move the Wild within a single score, but that’s as close as they would get prior to Tim Schaller icing things with an empty net goal in the final minute.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering how much phantom soreness that Lebron James has today from that phantom leg injury of his last night.
*In the final year of his contract with the Washington Capitals and without an extension before the season began, coach Barry Trotz is going to be able to maximize his next deal after betting on himself this season with the Caps.
*A complete ranking of all the players in the Stanley Cup Final from best to worst. Poor Brooks Orpik can’t have fared too well on this list.
*Speaking of the Washington Capitals, owner Ted Leonsis was tossing out Caps gear to fans at the Capitals practice rink ahead of the Stanley Cup Final. People are developing Caps fever in the nation’s capital.
*Steve Yzerman’s summer plan is to make the Tampa Bay Lightning an even better team, which seems like it might be difficult given some of their salary cap and contract situations. I guess we’ll see, but nobody should ever doubt Stevie Y.
*Interesting piece on the dynamic between Kevin Shattenkirk and David Quinn, and how their working relationship could define plenty with the New York Rangers this season.
*For something completely different: The Ringer crew asks, is “The Social Network” the best movie of this decade? Maybe for some people it is. You could make an argument for Captain America: Winter Soldier if we include superhero movies which they clearly did not, but I’d mention one movie they didn’t even get around to, “The Martian.” It’s a great movie and a great cast. Well-written. Extremely re-watchable. I definitely think it’s a better movie than the Social Network in a lot of respects even if the Facebook movie probably has a little more social relevance.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while wishing happy trails to Hanley Ramirez.
*It sounds like the New York Islanders are strongly in the game for retaining John Tavares after bringing Lou Lamoriello into the hockey operations fold. They will be joining a number of other teams including the Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and others. Do I expect the Bruins to be in the running for Tavares? Not unless they could find a taker for David Krejci. I don’t see that as a very likely scenario this offseason, just as I didn’t see it as a very likely scenario the past couple of years as well. Krejci’s got a big cap hit, he’s well past 30 when teams tend to steer clear of expensive players and he’s logged some heavy miles in his time with the Bruins. Those are the not the kind of players that teams are looking for even with his excellent playoff credentials and a distinct lack of frontline centers around the league.
*The Golden Knights vs. the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final is a win-win for hockey fans looking for a good series, says the Hockey News.
*This may be the first and last time that FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski gets a return tweet from Satan, Miroslav Satan that is.
*Things continue to speed up in Pittsburgh as trade rumors are swirling with Phil Kessel in what looks like it’s going to be a turbulent end to his run with the Penguins. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like Mr. Kessel has worn out his welcome at just about every stop along the way in his NHL tour over the last 10 plus years.
*Interesting profile on NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who continues to tailor his entire life around running the National Hockey League and guiding it to its highest popularity and business levels in league history.
*For something completely different: It’s a little surprising here as the Red Sox and Hanley Ramirez are parting ways with the DH getting designated for assignment by the Sox.