Goaltending Helps Boston Prevail against Philadelphia
By Dan Libon
Goaltending: it’s what this series is all about.
On one end of the ice is Tim Thomas, who has been playing out of his mind all year for Boston, while on the other side is the game of musical chairs known as the “Philadelphia Flyers goaltending.” It is a group that has featured mid-game changes in all 10 of their playoff affairs this past year. Philadelphia’s goalies are incredibly slow and as Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say, “they’re flat,” especially with a save percentage of [.904] and a playoff worse [.875], so it’s hard to think that the Bruins would indeed repeat what happened last May, especially with these gaudy numbers.
Although, while this particular series is all about goaltending, that’s not the only reason why the Bruins are up three games to none.
With the sudden awakening of the teams first line, the Bruins are showing production from their top players. The second goal of Wednesday’s game, which was recorded by David Krejci is one of those goals that shows how productive a line can be. Throwing the puck down to Milan Lucic, Krejci got it back for a great shot in front of the goal during the first period, which made it, 2-0.
In the second period, the Bruins scored two more times, as Gregory Campbell hit Daniel Paille in stride for Boston’s third goal, which was followed up by Nathan Horton scoring the teams fourth goal and completing the Gordie Howe hat trick. Philadelphia was then forced to take Brian Boucher out of the game and replace him with one of their back up goalies, Sergei Bobrovsky.
The final period was capped off by watching Boston score their first power play goal of the playoffs, as Zedeno Chara scored with a two man advantage for the Bruins to secure their third of the series.
Overall, I don’t expect the Bruins to self destruct, again. With the exception of Game 2, this series hasn’t been close. The Bruins look like they are peaking at the right time and with the first line awakening, along with productivity from lines 2 and 3, Boston looks like they are in good shape to potentially wrap up the series on Friday night at the TD Garden.