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Game 2: Pop hits

October 9, 2011

Peverley scored twice last night.

In game 1, well as they played, were no match for the Flyers’ Ilya Bryzgalov standing on his head and showing the NHL just what he’s made of. Yes, he beat the Bruins in Prague as a Yote a year earlier, and he did it again on their opener. Truth be told, I am fine with the loss.

Whipping the Lightning 4-1, though, victoriously, confidently, should be commended. In the opening minutes, I wondered at the choice of Mathieu Garon in net. Then again, if I were Guy Boucher, I’d hesitate before putting Dwayne Roloson back out there. The Bruins’ power-play, on which they found themselves rather often, looked more fluid, more active. That said, the “one too many pass” syndrome afflicted it still. But there were fewer icings, fewer gaffes. Joe Corvo acquitted himself nicely on the PP. Rich Peverley demonstrated once again just why he’s so valuable and how well he adapts to plays. David Krejci looked surprised with himself in his first goal of the season, but he shouldn’t be: I expect him to find the back of the net himself a lot more often.

But the real story was Tyler Seguin. He’s yet to score his own goal, but he now has three assists across the five Bruins goals scored this season. He looks more focused, more aggressive, more confident than ever before. No longer timid, no longer shying away, no longer skating in circles (and I am glad Seguin himself described it as such–all that caged dog energy zipping around last year bred the illusion of action, when in fact, it was all reluctance). His energy now has purpose, if that makes sense. He is shooting more, and his accuracy and release alone are enough to propel him into an offensive threat for the Bruins. He looks much less nervous. And he shows chemistry with Bergeron and Marchand, along with his linemates of Kelly and Pouliot.

One detracting story? Nathan Horton. In both games one and two, he appeared slow to the play. He showed flashes of stickhandling here and there, but some of his decision-making and work in the corners showed signs of confusion. It could be summer rust, it could be the concussion. I will wait 10 games to see.

And five hits:

1) Tim Thomas showed that he can shut the Lightning down any night with several spectacular saves.

2) Is there anything any goaltender in the NHL can do when Martin St Louis comes flying at them on a breakaway? Don’t think so. He will bury it every time, at Lightning speed.

3) Milan Lucic appears to have regained his old shot and swagger: thank god for the nasal surgery.

4) Benoit Pouliot played in Jordan Caron’s spot. He had a stellar first period, throwing big hits and having two great scoring chances. But he fizzled out after that. Is that the kind of consistency we should expect? I hope he pots one soon, for the Bruins’ sake, but also for his own.

5) Guy Boucher let a too many men on the ice penalty happen. He is human.

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