The All Start Weekend signifies the latter part of the season is upon us.
With that said, the Boston Bruins are going in the right direction and is currently in a good position. To say it is a comfortable position would be a cautiously optimistic statement as they are holding at third place in the Eastern Conference and hold the lead in the Northeast Division with a four point advantage over the Montreal Canadiens.
All Star Weekend
Chara was defending his Hardest Shot title in the Skill Competition. Shea Weber beat Chara in the preliminary round and that would normally eliminate you from the competition. Because Chara's round had one of the two hardest shots, he had another crack at earning the Hardest shot title for the fourth year in a row by breaking his own record with a blistering 105.9 MPH.
Tim Thomas set a record by becoming the first goalie to post victories in three straight NHL All-Star Games. Even though he allowed four goals out of 15 shots, he made some key saves to keep his team in it. Thomas also won the games in Atlanta in 2008 and Montreal in 2009.
Seguin wasn't involved too much into the all star weekend, but he had fun none the less. The then 18 year old (just turned 19 in January 31st) was just one of 12 rookies to make the trip and he made the most of it with a respectable 97.1 MPH hardest shot attempt.
On With the Season
The Bruins only played two games this week and made the most of them earning four of four points.
Bs at Canes
Tuesday concluded the season series with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Bruins had to fight hard for this one. Carolina are currently in ninth place and are just a point behind the Atlanta Thrashers with two games on hand.
Daniel Paille FINALLY got his first goal of the season with a tip in.
Canes' Jamie McBain tied it up with a beautiful setup by former Bruins Sergi Samsonov.
Nathan Horton got a huge monkey off his back with a one timer wrist shot from David Krejci's behind the net pass. Horton's goal was the first in 11 games. 2-1 Bruins
Patrice Bergeron got the game winner with a shot from the high right slot. Ward didn't have a chance as he was well screen by Brad Marchand. 3-1 Bruins
Joe Corvo made it interesting as Tim Thomas was well screen by Eric Cole to make it 3-2 but it wasn't enough as the Bruins took the season series 3-1.
Stars at Bs
The Bruins were back at the Garden and it was an interesting opening seconds of the game with three fights and a goal.
Steve Ott and Greg Campbell get into it in the first second, Ott won that one with Cambell very bloodied after the bout.
Just a second later, Krys Barch and Shawn Thornton get into it with Thornton getting that one.
Two seconds later, Brian Sutherby and Adam McQuaid throw down the mitts and McQuaid drops Sutherby with two right shots in the face.
Just 35 seconds into the game, Milan Lucic opened up the scoring.
The Bruins keep up the pace. Just 45 seconds later, Marchand passed to Bergeron to make 2-0.
Yet another fight with Adam Burish and Andrew Ference. Ference took Burish down in easy fashion.
Marchand and Bergeron were at it again with Bergeron getting his second goal of the night. 3-0 Bs.
Thornton scored with a shot from the mid left point to give the Bruins a commanding 4-0 lead.
So the opening period sounded like this:
If you got to be at the game, the opening period was worth the picket price alone.
Karlis Skrastins scored the loan goal in the second period to put the game at 4-1 Bruins.
The Stars made the game interesting and showed why they are the leaders of the Pacific Division.
Just 45 seconds in, Brenden Morrow scored on the Penalty Kill to make it four to two Bruins.
Less than three minutes later, Brad Richards scores from the left point on the three-on-two odd man rush to make it a one goal game. Four to three Bruins.
Blake Wheeler passed a shot to Seguin who one timed it at the net to regain the two goal lead.
Marchand completed the scoring with Bergeron nearly earning his second career hat rick but missed the empty net, but continued behind the net to get it to Marchand. The goal earned both Bergeron and Marchand their third point on the night.
Paille was sent off the ice with an attempt to injure on Raymond Sawada. Paille gave Sawada an open ice hit that sent him reeling and dazed on the ice.
This gave the Bruins a five minute major and Tuukka Rask was up to the task with 10 saves on the penalty kill. Rask ended up with a 30 save night and a well deserved win for the goalie who can play better but is not getting the numbers in win column none too easy.
Paille's hit resulted in Sawada with a broken nose and a sprained shoulder.
Andrew Ference was talking to TSN regarding the hit. "It was a bad hit," said the Bruins defense man after the game. "We can't be hypocrites when your own team does a hit like that which the league is trying to get rid of."
Paille is expected to face a disciplinary hearing today to see if there will be a suspension handed down.
After the fact, Burish, Barch and, of course Sawada are injured in the game. Burish and Barch were injured as a result with their tussles with Ference and Thornton respectively.
The Bruins ended up with 51 PIMs while the Stars earned 40 for a total of 91 minutes in penalties.
I will be creating an article on the Dallas/Boston game as this was worthy of an article to itself.
Should Daniel Paille get suspended for the hit?
Boston played their game and it worked out very well. Both goalies, the Defense and Offense were clicking.
Not too many bad things to call upon other than some stupid penalties
The Paille hit was not a good one to watch. It seemed it was on the blind side, but the shot to the head was as a result of the shoulder hit. To follow through with his elbow didn't help matters. All in the all, the hit does fit the criteria and I would not be surprised if there is a suspension handed down.
Dallas banged up. three players are injured one team as a result of one game. Can't be called anything else but ugly.
A. They earned this one.
In The Stretch
Lots of hockey to play and anything can happen as there is only 11 points separating the Bruins and ninth place Carolina Hurricanes. In that respect, the Bruins have completed the season series with the Hurricanes with a decisive three to one series win so any head to head catch from this point on is not going to happen.
With 30 games left, the Bruins need to ensure that they don't take the foot off the peddle and hopefully, the injury bug does come around as this would be a bad time of the year to lose key players.
This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean".