COMMENTARY | The National Hockey League Playoffs are still a few months away, but someone forgot to tell that to the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins Thursday night. The two teams put on a show inside the TD Garden that was well worth the price of admission.
With talks of changing the overtime format in recent weeks, numerous Bruins players and Head coach Claude Julien have not been bashful on their stance on a change needs to be made. Thursday night did not change those thoughts.
"It doesn't matter whether we win or lose in the shootout, we all have our opinions on that," Julien said after the loss. "I just find when a game is played so well like that it's a lot easier if both teams could have walked out of there and said, 'You know what, a hard fought game,' and both teams would have been happy."
Rask, who slammed his stick off the goalpost and into the ice after the game-winner by Roy, did not shy away from his shootout thoughts either.
"I thought both teams played pretty good hockey," Rask said. "Pretty good systems and good players, doing what their coaches are asking them to and then you decide that in a shootout. Obviously it feels good for them (Blues) and sucks for me, personally."
After being asked if shootouts should remain part of the game, his answer was no shocker.
"I'd gas them right away," he said. "Mid-season. Take them away. I don't want it."
Alex Steen, who entered the game tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 17 goals, was held without a shot on goal in regulation and overtime. The centerman made up for being shut-out by beating Rask in the second-round of the shootout to tie the shootout after Patrice Bergeron scored for the B's in the first-round.
In addition to the game-winner in the shootout, Roy netted the Blues first goal of the game to knot the score at 1-1 in the first. The goal was an awkward one to say the least. The shot was a slow dribbler that trickled through the legs of the Blues Chris Stewart and past Bruin blue-liners Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski before slipping underneath Rask's pads.
"I didn't even know I scored it," Roy admitted. "I just tried to pull it to my forehand and shoot it and get it towards the net cause I knew there were a couple of guys there and it happened to go in."
Roy missed an opportunity to end the game in overtime as his breakaway shot hit the crossbar.
The Bruins also had a golden chance to end the game towards the end of the five-minute overtime session. Dougie Hamilton made a nice feed to Carl Soderberg leading to a breakaway but the Swede was turned away by Jaroslav Halak.
Soderberg registered his third goal of the game to tie the contest at 2-all with 1:19 left in the second.
Blues Head coach Ken Hitchcock noted the intensity of the game from start to finish.
"It was (like) a playoff game, exactly," Hitchcock said. "It was very disciplined. I think both teams really respected each other, but it was a really hard game."
Julien mentioned he was pleased with every aspect of the game except picking up the second point.
"I don't know what you guys thought about the game but I thought it was a real fun game to watch," he said. "There was a lot of opportunities and great plays and great body checks; everything that you wanted to see in this game was there. Everything from my end except for that extra point that I thought we should have had."
Travis David is a freelance sports reporter and has been published in the Chicago Sun-Times among other newspaper and online publications. He is also a credentialed member on the Boston Bruins media website. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21.
SOURCE: Quotes gathered from the Boston Bruins media website.
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- Ice Hockey
- Boston Bruins
- Tuukka Rask