In the wake of the Bruins victory today over the Philadelphia Flyers, three thoughts:
Tyler’s Production Struggles
Tyler Seguin’s two points on the night give him just eight in the past sixteen team games. There are eight Bruins who have more than him over that span: Rich Peverley (15), Patrice Bergeron (12), Brad Marchand (11), Milan Lucic (10), David Krejci (10), Chris Kelly (10), Nathan Horton (9) and Zdeno Chara (9). Joe Corvo also has eight.
It’s telling that only Pevs, Bergy and the Honey Badger have a lot more than him in this ‘down’ month. It also reveals the almost surprisingly impressive month that Peverley has had. He (and Lucic) tied Bergeron for the second-most points on the team in Saturday afternoon’s action.
Even though Seguin’s struggles when it comes to tenacity, physical play and intensity aren’t going away, his production has still been decent. It’s a good reminder that this (still nineteen year-old) scorer has a ton of upside if he’s scoring at this clip despite his difficulties – it’s hard not to be excited.
Lucic’s Hit Should Cost Him a Few
Milan Lucic may have cost himself a few games. He boarded the Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo late in the second period. Afterwards, Lucic argued that he got more ‘shoulder’ than ‘numbers’, but viewing the incident over and over, I can’t agree: He heads to Rinaldo when the Philly agitator has his back to him and he doesn’t let up even though Rinaldo’s numbers faced him up to the point of impact.
It’s not a particularly egregious example of boarding but it’s certainly enough to warrant a suspension of one to three games in my book. Boarding is a very dangerous penalty and even minor collisions can lead to significant injuries –rarely is any collision involving Milan Lucic ‘minor’ and this one was no exception. Lucic drove through his opponent (not viciously but he didn’t seem to let up).
Since Lucic is obviously on the radar of NHL VP in charge of player discipline, Brendan Shanahan, you can anticipate that he’s not going to get off scot-free. It won’t be easy to go without the forceful physical play and offensive production of Lucic – but there’s a good chance they’ll have to.
Anything you can do….
Tim Thomas’s play was outstanding. Again. He and Tuukka Rask have performed as close to perfect as you could want through two and a half months of the 2011-12 season. Tuukka has the slight edge in goals against average (1.82 to Timmy’s 1.83) while Thomas has jumped his backup in save percentage with two consecutive lights-out games (.943 to Rask’s .939). They’re second and third respectively in both categories.
Of course, their play since the beginning of November has been particularly outstanding. Thomas has been outstanding in that stretch going 12-1 with a .945 Sv% and four shutouts. Rask even more so: Since the end of October, he’s gone 7-1-1 with a 1.47 GAA, a .952 Sv% and a shutout.
The B’s might have trouble giving each of these top ‘tenders the number of games they deserve … but truth be told, it’s a good problem to have.
Follow Bob Mand on Twitter at @BobMandBTR