Often when I finish watching a Bruins game, I think about what the story is and how to tell it. I just watched the Bruins at the Sabres and I honestly don’t have a real narrative here. Yes, I know narrative is a bad word in certain spaces like Twitter, but here it isn’t. So what is there to say about this game?
First thought: The Boston Bruins dominated the game from start to finish. While that is technically true in that the B’s held off the Sabres, prevented them from scoring, and managed to take two points in a 2-0 victory, it’s not really the theme of the game. Tuukka Rask was in great form and seemed very comfortable in net, earning his first shutout of the season in 18 appearances. He was clearly the best player.
“I think he was our best player. That goes without saying…Good for him.” – #NHLBruins Cassidy on Tuukka Rask
— Shawn Hutcheon (@ShawnHutcheon) April 21, 2021
.@tuukkarask on his incredible lunging stop in his 51st career shutout: “Half skill, half luck. Kind of in desperation mode at that point when you can’t push over to that side. You just throw anything at the puck you can and hopefully it hits you.” pic.twitter.com/D8ChE50vYN
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 21, 2021
Second Thought: The Bruins did some really dumb things like take all the penalties in the third. Seriously, a great way to lose a game 3-2 after leading all game is to have to kill two penalties at once while the other team sits their goalie for an extra attacker, making 6 skaters for them and 3 for you.
Thankfully the Buffalo Sabres, being what they are, they even screwed that up.
Ah the rare “7-on-3 Buffalo blitz” pic.twitter.com/VrAlaZAqQJ
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 21, 2021
Third Thought: Without luck, the Bruins could have lost this game. While hockey is often a game of speed and skill, teams definitely depend upon the good graces of The Hockey Gods and Lady Luck. The Bruins had that in at least two instances tonight. While the first goal was scored by Brad Marchand off a puck that rebounded off David Pastrnak, the second goal by Connor Clifton was much more flukey.
I guess the story is this: The Boston Bruins went to Buffalo riding a four-game winning streak. The Buffalo Sabres have been playing better of late, 5-4-1 in their last 10 with wins against the Capitals (5-2) and the Penguins (4-2) in their last three games. It became not an offensive battle and not quite a goalie duel but a game in which the luckier team and the better penalty kill won. That team was the Boston Bruins.