Well, that was pretty huge. By "that" I could mean a lot of things:
- November's final record: 11-1-1
- Bruins beating the Red wings 4-1
- The Patriots loss to Pittsburgh.
But this is the Hockey blog adventure, and we're talking some hockey. So here goes.
First period, first thing is Aaron Ward smacking his left ankle into the board and only playing 3 shifts. With one defensemen down (Ference) we've still been playing well. I don't know if the Bruins will be so lucky with Lashoff as they have been with Hunwick. Bruins have until thursday to play again, so maybe no biggie. I hope. Sturm would do well to get over his concussion soon, too.
But Manny is still riled up from yesterday afternoon, and doesn't need a "warm-up" period. He's played the Red Wings before, while he was playing with the Wild. He's not letting anything up just yet.
The whole first 8-10 minutes otherwise, the Bruins are flat. And I mean F-L-A-T flat. Utah salt flats flat. It looked bad. They were playing the RED WINGS, for crying out loud. Manny stayed strong.
For 12 minutes. With exactly 8 minutes left in the first, Ryder and Wheeler come down on the 2-on-1, Ryder passes to Wheeler, who puts it behind Conklin.
1-0. Conklin has a 0.00% SV after one shot.
The Bruins look a little better after that. With 4 minutes to go, Kessel gets it on the side boards. He passes to Hnidy, who then passes it right back to Kessel. Kessel rifles it past about 20 players, the last of which is Conklin.
2-0. It's still the first, anything can happen.
Manny makes another couple of stops, the Bruins manage to get out of the period 2-0.
But the Red Wings are known to go 1 out of 3 on the Powerplay coming into this game. The Bruins gave them one powerplay, and they took some matching penalties. Not a good start, penalty-wise.
That said, let's head to the second period.
The Bruins are looking better than the beginning of the first, but you're still on the edge of your seat because they're playing last year's cup champs plus Marian Hossa. It's a scary thing, at any point of the game.
8 minutes in. Bergeron goes in for the forecheck. Gets it off some guy from detroit but you can't see who in the replay. Whatever. He passes it up from the corner to Kobasew. Kobasew has a wide open shot on Conklin. 9 shot of the game. GOAL!
3-0. Conklin leaves the game with a .667 Save percentage, and some huge GAA. In comes Chris Osgood, three time stanley cup winner.
Bruins give up 2 more penalties, on the second one, the Detroit PP offense sets up. They work it around and around and around and then Jiri Hudler puts it in front of Manny and Franzen taps it in. I don't care what bruins.nhl.tv says about who scored it, I was there and saw him tap it in.
3-1. Still the second. You know what they say about the worst lead in hockey...
Third Period time. Will the Bruins be able to keep it up and continue to stop the Red Wings, or will the Red Wings offensive MACHINE (seriously) get some past Manny.
Manny's voting for the former. The same guys who started the "Put in Thomas" chant after the Thompson goal are now starting "Manny! Manny! Manny!" chants. He's a beast. He stops a bunch of shots. Osgood is not so lucky.
6 or so minutes in, Wheeler picks it up off a Ryder rebound, gets it to Wideman at the point. Wideman throws it in, bounces off krejci down to his stick. There's a deliberate slow spin movement on this shot, but the shot comes off just a little ahead of times. Osgood lets it get behind him, but can't find anyone to dive against. GOAL.
4-1. The best way to handle the worst lead is to score again.
The last 13 minutes of the game are Manny and Osgood both playing some serious business goaltender.
Manny wants that starter job. So does Thomas. They're both playing themselves into it. Manny is 7-1-1, for crying out loud. Granted, two of those were games where the Bruins scored 7 goals, but one is against the Red Wings, who are second in scoring behind the Sharks.
People talk about how december's schedule is "easy," but the Panthers just beat New York 4-0. The Bruins would do well to not play down to any team, but they don't seem to have a problem with that so far, which has made them quite good. Consistancy has gotten Lidstrom the Norris and Brodeur the Vezina the past couple years, after all.
What a game. Just a fantastic game.
Postgame interview with Zdeno Chara:
"We can beat anybody in this league. We can play with any team in this league. But we haven't done anything but beat a few teams. We've got to keep going and keep pushing forward. We can't be satisfied with the results we have."
Let's check in with Jack and Andy, post-game:
November Total: 11-1-1