If we can serve as the Bruins’ kryptonite, in what is a weaker season, that would be a benefit that I would gladly take. To hear Jack Edwards ranting angrily on screen was music to my ears, as you could hear the anger in his voice as more “injustices” were committed against his beloved Bruins.
Was this a full-handed Bruins team? No, I would be delusional to think that, as the Bruins were short of Kuraly, DeBrusk, and their local sewer rat.
As is the case with 1-0 games, there weren’t many chances for either sides, The Devils started the game off with a bang, as Damon Severson absolutely leveled… a referee? It was a nice hit, now he just has to hit actual opposing players. The Devils, fresh off a shutout loss, decided to get the puck firing early, as Sharangovich and Subban both blasted slapshots on net, which Halak stopped.
No team had any close chances, but the Devils and the struggling Andreas Johnsson were called for the first penalty, as he was called for hitting Craig Smith in the head. The resulting Bruins power play saw some shots from Patrice Bergeron and Nick Ritchie, before the Devils killed the rest of the power play. Additional back and forth play eventually saw the Devils control the puck in the Bruins zone. Bratt controlled the puck, found Ty Smith, who then took a shot off of Kyle Palmieri and past Halak, to give the Devils the 1-0 lead!
The second period started with more physicality from Sharangovich, as he smashed Zboril in the neutral zone. Mike McLeod had a two-on-one opportunity, but got too fancy and lost the puck. Immediately afterwards, Pavel Zacha and Nick Merkley had glorious opportunities with a sprawling Halak, with Merkley in particular missing a wide open net. Despite this missed chance, the Devils continued their physical play, as they engaged in back and forth hits with the Bruins.
Ty Smith, in another impressive moment, then attempted to drive the net himself and pot a goal, but was knocked down and saved by a Connor Clifton penalty. The Devils had a few opportunities, but could not deposit any goals, as the penalty was killed.
Wood then drew a penalty on Lauzon, with this power play absolutely failing. The drop passes hurt the Devils in this power play in particular, as they were unable to create anything.
With under 20 seconds left in the game, Subban was called for an obvious trip on Jack Studnicka, Zacha tripped Krejci on the power play, resulting in the NESN broadcast claling the humanity of the referees in question as they missed the call. With this, the second period was over, with the Devils still up 1-0.
To start the third, the Devils had difficulty clearing the puck, as they were stuck in their own zone but were lucky to clear the penalty.
In a moment of what the actual ****, I learned that the referees could review a penalty call. I actually wouldn’t mind that rule being implemented more in general, but where were these calls when clear penalties were missed against the Devils? Where was the review of the sewer rat’s blatant cross-check to the back of Ty Smith’s head (Which by the way NHL, you forgot to suspend the animal), or other reviews of high sticking against the Devils? Again, I actually don’t mind if the referees would choose to look back more often, but I’m pretty salty that this moment only seemed to happen against the Devils.
The resulting Bruins double-minor, luckily enough, was full of pressure but no cigar. Krejci had a wide-open net, but chose to pass the puck instead, before McAvoy tripped Sharangovich. Unfortunately for the Devils, they had to kill their own power-play, as Boston had the better chances in the two minutes. Zach Senyshen was then called for hooking McLeod, but the Devils yet again could do nothing with the power play. The Boston Bruins, in an unprofessional showing of, to be blunt, extreme stupidity, started crying about a missed intentional offsides call, again showing why they were rated as one of the worst commentators in the league. My roommate, a Chicago Blackhawks fan, found himself mocking the NESN commentators for how ridiculous they sounded. Is this related to the game? No, but the experience itself was no fun to listen to.
Miles Wood did Miles Wood things and found himself on a breakaway, and did a decent move on Halak but was stopped. A harmless Jesper Bratt shot then somehow hit the post, before the Bruins pulled their goalie with under two minutes left.
The Bruins scored a goal – or that’s what the NESN announcer (I can’t blame both of them on this one) would make you think. It was clearly goaltender interference, with Jack Cassidy even seeming a bit embarrassed by Andy Brickley’s crap spewing from his mouth.
When the goal was rightfully removed, Brickley wouldn’t stop crying, saying that it wasn’t “the NHL game that I’m familiar with.” Honestly, I do completely agree with and understand his rationale. From listening to his commentary, it’s pretty clear that Brickley has blocked out his NHL days and has never watched a hockey game in his life, as that goal is taken back 10/10 times. Or, maybe his Boston bias has blinded him, as the referees would never dare to do anything against the holier than thou Bruins. The commentators need to get rid of their bias on clear calls like this, to remove any unnecessary controversies.
This aside, the Bruins did get close to a goal with under ten seconds left, as Blackwood seemed to stop the puck a hair before it crossed the line. Of course, the Bruins commentators chose to ignore the more clear angle, intentionally choosing the more ambiguous and murky angle, and continue to pat themselves on the butt over the injustices committed against the Bruins. And with that, the referees actually saved the games for the Devils as they beat the Bruins 1-0!
After this game, I appreciate Ken Daneyko a lot more.
The Opposition Opinion:
The Bruins fans were very rational in their take in this quick recap.
Who Played Well:
I love Sharangovich. He plays with an edge, has an excellent shot, and is great positionally. On 5-on-5 play, he was one of the Devils’ best players, as he was very willing to put his body on the line and create shots.
Despite scoring off a deflection, Kyle Palmieri deserved the goal anyway as he was the best player on the ice according to Corsi stats. On 5-on-5, Palmieri had a CF% of 70, while his linemates in Bratt and Hughes had a 65 and 50 respectably.
Blackwood was the best player of the game. He had a save of the year contender on the deflected final shot, and played over his head in shutting the Bruins out. Yes, it was a ratless Bruins, but it was a shutout over a strong Bruins team nonetheless.