It was luck o’ the Irish for the Bruins on St. Patrick’s Day, as they skated towards a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Tallying their ninth consecutive win, the team has been finding continued success from each roster member.
“It’s good,” said Bruins Smith. “It’s more than just that, I think our team is playing really good hockey right now, we’re coming together, our goalies are playing phenomenal too. It’s good to see our whole team going and I think we’re playing really good hockey right now and the biggest thing is to keep the momentum going.”
Perhaps one of the largest factors of all has come in the form of goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask, who stopped 33 of 34 shots faced was a force to be reckoned with, albeit blanking the Wild with the exception of a breakaway goal from Jason Pominville. For spectators of the game, who feared that the goaltenders presence in the Olympics for Finland would leave the 27-year-old exhausted, his play between the pipes has proven otherwise.
“Our goaltending has been outstanding all year without question,” said Bruins Iginla. “We’re very fortunate to have them on net, and they do give us a chance every night. Big momentum shifts. We also feel as the game goes on, the physical style that we play, we can start taking the game over as it goes on and try to wear teams down. We take a lot of pride in being a real good third period team and having that great goaltending. We don’t want to give up the chances that necessarily some of the breakaways and some of the chances that we are, but you’re going to have some breakdowns and our goaltending has been outstanding.”
Recording two goals in just a little over 19 minutes of ice time in the win, it’s been a milestone year for veteran forward, Jarome Iginla. It seems as though every contest brings about another achievement to add to an already lengthy list; last night marked lucky 13, ahem hundred. Yes, 1300 regular season games.
“I think it would be tough for him to keep track. 1300 games, that’s a lot of hockey games,” said Bruins Kelly on Iginla’s accomplishments. “1300 regular season hockey games – that’s not playoffs or preseason games or practices. That’s a lot of hockey and he still shows up and plays hard. He’s so strong, just a great addition for us to have. And for any young hockey player to look at, he’s a constant professional.”
While Iginla skated hard in his 1,300th, Minnesota Wild center and Massachusetts native, Charlie Coyle skated in front of an overwhelmingly large continent of friends and family for his first NHL game.
“It was good. Obviously it’s nice to have the support of my family and friends, and just being back in Boston, so it was good,” said Wild Coyle. “Obviously wanted a different result, but it’s always nice to come back.”
Despite the loss, 22-year-old Coyle gave it his all, netting third star of the game.
“Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I guess so,” said Wild Coyle. “There was a little adrenaline I think, at the start. Once you get going though, once you get out there, you just play your game.”
The Bruins now sit high atop the East with 97 points, closely rivaling the 101 points and league leading, St. Louis Blues.
“You try to win every game and if you have a chance to clinch the league, why wouldn’t you try? But I don’t think it’s our goal in our minds that we have to win it,” said Bruins Rask. “We just want to be feeling good about ourselves going into playoffs and play our best hockey in April, May, June.”
Both Boston and Minnesota are back in action tonight, with Boston facing the New Jersey Devils for their first of a three game road trip. While Minnesota heads to Long Island for their second game of a three on the road. Boston will look to make it lucky number 10, while the Wild will aim to start a streak of their own.