The NHL is back on the ice and I for one am excited to have them back. And I know it's just one game, but the Bruins appear to be back in form as well. They took control of the game from the outset against the Rangers, the team most are picking to go to the Cup Final, and never really relinquished it. They were the superior team in puck possession, especially in the defensive zone and carrying it out through neutral ice into the offensive zone. They also vastly outshot the higher offensive Rangers nearly 2 to 1.
If not for the Vezina winner being in net, the game would not have been as close as the final 3-1 score. Tuuka Rask was really not challenged the whole game, with the exception of Brad Richards' goal that no one could've stopped. Tonight was the debut of the Bruins' young 19 year old defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, who acquitted himself well given that he wasn't scored upon or needed his butt saved by the goalie. Good to get that one under his belt. Shawn Thornton stood toe to toe with Rangers' forward Mike Rupp, who has 3 inches and 25 pounds on him -- and obviously a serious reach advantage -- and gave as much as he took, finally taking Rupp to the ice.
Then there was Chris Bourque, who, after a trade with the Caps, was able to suit up for the team he watched his legendary father play for and the one he longed to someday play for. He didn't play a whole lot of minutes but did a decent job. The one highlight is that he had the puck just inside the center line with an open net ahead late in the game, and obviously the adrenalin of the moment got the best of him because he shot the puck well above the open net.
The Bruins appeared to be in midseason form, showing off one of the deepest teams in the league and arguably the best all-around defensive team in the league, all the while putting over 30 shots on net against another very good defensive team. Could be a great year to be a Bs fan.
Wanna talk about your team's debut?