Gosh, they're making this hard. I like a good war on ice and all, but it sure does make it hard to pick standouts. I'll try my best.
Dome hockey team
They're going into the last minute with these 6 against the Montreal Canadiens (and they're attached to the ice, so they're not coming off)...
– once again, Savard did what he promised to do – he created plays. Of particular note for him was the beautiful pass from behind the net that led to Tobalev's play of the game (save). In general, Savard's playmaking is going to waste with this bunch, the Bruins have to do much better to try and surround him with someone who has some awareness around the net (Kessel anyone?).
Savard's next best play of the game was his save in the third period on Steve Begin (and Kostopoulos). If you want to question the problems afflicting the Bruins in one good example, you could ask what system is designed where their one offensive weapon is defending the goal line
– Sturm is so fast that he got a few more breaks. He missed again in on his own and was let down by amateur play from his teammate on a short-handed two man break. He continues to look like the biggest threat from amongst the other forwards, but has been either snake bitten or just not quite up to it when the pressure plays arose. On a team scoring a goal or two, Sturm would not be in the dome. This team is not that team
– Best of the rest? Nokelainen has consistently been the name I see when I notice good play along the boards from the Bruins, particularly when a player manages to evade a body check. It seems, though he crashes and bangs like his compatriots, Nokelainen also has the hockey sense to realise that this game is about a puck and a net, not about hitting Komisarek. In addition, he has a half-decent stride and manages to find dangerous positions at times in the game.
Lucic could have been in this dome with a decent game. His total distraction with the hitting side of things is becoming comical for a Habs fan to watch
- Still the best Bruin. His ability to shut down Kovalev and Plekanec (not Andrei K) has been the main reason the Bruins even have another game this spring. His underrated first pass is also one of the good things going on with the Bruins. Without this rock, I fear Julien would have nothing but sand to build on
- Ward has been steady through all the games, though more must be expected of him. However, he has to be given some credit for the shape that this series is taking. His steady play and obvious comfort in his end has allowed Julien's rather unimaginative plan to come to achieve relative success. I have also been impressed with Ward's ability to play the point on the PP, something for which he gets little credit. Last evening, I think Ward was injured – I think the Bruins will feel this loss quite acutely to be honest
- It's deceptive how well Thomas has been playing. His maturity in interviews and through the game is impressive in the face of a total lack of offensive support from his team and a complete dearth of imagination form his coaching staff. What's more, you couldn't really pin the Brisebois goal on him, so it was a near-perfect effort again – the main blemish being the Marc Savard save.Though much credit should be given to Chara and whoever is played with him for shutting down Kovalev and co., Thomas has been steady as last line of defence too. Last night, he realistically gave his team the best chance to win they have had all series. I expect more of the same from him in Game 5