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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

B’s clinch Northeast Division

The Bruins clinched the Northeast Division against Atlanta in a strange way. Daniel Paille, of all people, scored his first goal in twelve games. Shane Hnidy made his season debut after not seeing action with the Bruins all year. A penalty shot, something that is critically endangered in the NHL these days, decided the game. It was a scrappy day with sub-par plays in goal on both sides. A big theme of the day was appreciation for Brad Marchand. He was presented before the game with NESN’s 7th man award, which awards the player on the Bruins who made the most unexpected contributions to the team.

“Well it was a question mark whether I was going to be on the team this year. It’s an honor to win that award. It’s special,” said Marchand. ”I think I was expected to be defensively responsible and bring energy into the game. Now I think I still have to do the exact same thing, but maybe bring a little more offense.”

Mark Stuart whooped Michael Ryder into the boards in the first minute of the first period. Marc Recchi scored at 4:34 off a mishandled puck by Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian. Brad Marchand grabbed the loose puck and Patrice Bergeron scooped it up in front of the net and fed it to Recchi, who laid it into an empty net.

Recchi talked about the goal. “We turned the puck over on the half boards and Marshy [Brad Marchand] and I went to the net. Marshy [Marchand] threw it and somehow it snuck through his [Ondrej Pavelec] legs. I just happened to be standing there.  I’ll take it. It was kind of my spot.”

The B’s led 1-0. The game was almost entirely played in the Bruins attacking zone for the first ten minutes, outshooting the Thrashers 5-1 over that span. The Thrashers scored at 11:11, a mere 5 seconds into a Michael Ryder penalty. The call was originally on Tukka Rask for delay of game but Ryder served the two minutes.

It started to get a little chirpy early in the second when Andrew Ferrence and Dustin Byfuglien tussled along the glass behind the Bruins’ net. Evader Kane scored for the Thrashers off a rebound stemming from a Milan Lucic block, giving Atlanta a 2-1 lead. Daniel Paille scored a short handed goal thirty seconds into a Shane Hnidy delay of game call after Dusting Byfuglien lost the puck in the Bruins attacking zone.

“I just wanted to get in the play,” explained Paille. “I felt that it wasn’t high enough so I just thought to get a jump on there and I noticed they were just trying to pass around me. So I was just trying to play big, the puck came at me and hit my glove, bounced over [Dustin] Byfuglien’s stick. I didn’t have much room, but I got enough to get it up high.” 

The third period was very dull, with no significant action for the first 10 minutes. Michael Ryder was awarded a penalty shot when he was interfered with on a fast break with 7:29 to go in the game. Ryder scored easily after going five-hole on Ondrej Pavelec, giving the Bruins a 3-2 lead.

After the game he said, “Last game (in the shootout) I missed the net, tonight I hit it. It was a big goal for us. We wanted to make sure we got the win today, and I think we’ve played better games. As long as we get the two points that doesn’t mean anything.”

The B’s never looked back, and Atlanta had very few real chances in the waning minutes of the match. Before the game, announcer Jack Edwards remarked to the sellout Garden crowd of 17,565: “The B’s haven’t sold out 69 straight games since the days in the old barn when we were winning Stanley Cups.” Hopefully, what Edwards said was a sign of things to come.