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Bruins clinch Northeast division

April 2, 2011

Tuukka in net.

A 3-2 victory this afternoon nudged the Bruins ahead, earning them the Northeast division and putting them just slightly closer in the race for the conference. It wasn’t a smooth win, and through to Michael Ryder’s penalty shot it was unclear who would be victorious. The Peverley-Kelly-Seguin line looked as sharp as ever, despite failing to notch a point yet again. Their speed and ability to swing peppery little passes off the boards to one another is phenomenal, and something the Bruins have lacked in recent times. They can turn on a dime, too. It’s a bit disconcerting how often Kelly is knocked off balance or off the puck. Having not seen his play extensively before February, I’m unsure whether this is a standard operating malfunction for him or if this is an area he is capable of improving in. His other attributes do compensate, though, in terms of his speed and ability to spring and lunge forward with great ease.

Shane Hnidy fit right in on the blue line, with nearly 14 minutes of ice-time. Surprising in some respects that he hadn’t played a single game all season, given how quickly he was on. He made smart, simple passes and threw a few hits.

Tuukka played sufficiently well. It’s still disconcerting to seem him have brain cramps, like his delay of game penalty when going outside the trapezoid, which led to a Thrashers power-play and goal. He is technically sound, athletic and sharp when he’s on. But lately, and perhaps it’s a side effect of his decreased playing time, he’s been visibly frustrated. He is the future of the Bruins and a goaltender who surely has years of excellent play ahead of him. At the moment, something has hitched him up, something is tripping him. What it is. I do not know.

 

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