Boston Bruins Writer
The familiar chant of “Luongo! Luongo! Luongo!” echoed throughout the TD Garden. This was the first appearance in Boston for Canucks goalie, Roberto Luongo since Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Luongo gave up 3 goals in the first 9 minutes of that game and got pulled. That was all after he made some comments about Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. Needless to say, this was a much anticipated return and there was no love lost.
This game was no different as the Bruins scored early on a goal by Milan Lucic. The goal was assisted by David Krejci and Jarome Iginla. Iginla picked up his 600th career assist on the play. You could almost tell that Luongo was uncomfortable being back in Boston. Iginla later picked up a goal of his own in the second period. The Canucks got on the board with a goal by Raphael Diaz, but the Bruins eventually gained that back with a breakway goal by Daniel Paille off a nice pass from Johnny Boychuk.
A couple things really stuck out to me in this game:
Tuukka Rask played an exceptional game in net. Rask has been a little shaky this year. Many people believe that he is being overworked after signing his 8 year contract in the offseason. Tuukka looked rested and very concentrated the whole game making 27 saves on 28 attempts.
The young Bruins defensemen are showing great signs of progress. With Zdeno Chara missing the next 2 games before the Olympic break to carry the flag for Slovakia in the opening ceremonies, they will need to step up. Matt Bartkowski showed great poise with the puck and really was well-positioned the whole game. Johnny Boychuk got back to his ways as an enforcer with 3 huge hits that really set the tone. Torey Krug continued to show that he can be one of the better players on the team with his consistent play. Kevan Miller and Dougie Hamilton made some nice plays as well and really made no key mistakes.
The Canucks came in carrying a 4 game losing streak and really played like a desperate team. The Bruins showed that they could handle the intensity brought by the urgent Canucks. The Bruins are 7-1-1 in their last 9 games. They have 2 games left until the Olympic break. Thursday at St.Louis will be a real test without Zdeno Chara and then Saturday at home against the Ottawa Senators.
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