Tim Thomas looks like someone who was on the Titanic.
If this was March or April, we'd be concerned. But the game was against the world champs in December. If anything, it gives the Pens a good measuring stick of where they need to be, and that measuring stick is the one your grandmother used to spank your ass when she caught you taking that long shower that one time.
But, honestly, it isn't like the Bruins are that much better than the Pens. The Pens had two 5-on-3s and could not score. That is the game in a nutshell. And seriously: Crosby at the left point on those powerplays? It's like going to a magic show and the magician just stands there for 10 minutes and leaves. No way Bylsma is that disconnected with reality. It almost looked like an experimental thing. If Tim Thomas didn't do meth before the game, the Pens score a powerplay goal anyway, so suck it.
Tim Thomas outshone Marc-Andre Fleury. One of the only games thus far this year where a goalie made Marc-Andre Fleury look like poop. Tim Thomas waited till his mid-30s to start playing good hockey. Where's John Steigerwald and the steroid talk?
Overall this game was ferocious, and it almost seems like these two teams are destined to battled it out on the big stage in the spring.
More from this game:
When the highlight of your team's first period is the head coach jumping for a puck, you know it could be a long night:
Other than that, Crosby and Krejci started chirping each other. Really set the tone for the rest of the game.
Bruins come out and work for some goal. Gregory Campell knocks it home. 1-0 Bruins. Right after that, Marchand starts being a dick. He slew-footed Niskanen and then challenged him to a fight. Marchand should have received a match penalty, but the big bad Bruins can do whatever they want sometimes. Good showing by Niskanen for not beating the piss out of Marchand immediately after it happened.
Pens ended up with a powerplay but couldn't store. Time Thomas was on a different level.
And honestly, yeah, the Bruins played hard, but the Pens still had 46 shots. In the middle of the period, they "took over." They worked and got a pretty extended 5-on-3. A Tim Thomas slash to the outside of Neal's knee gets sneezed at, but Chara comes over and pushes Neal, and THAT'S a penalty?
Pens go with five forwards, and it fails. Bruins had some big-time chances on that PK. It's sad that we can't remember if that was the 5-on-3 where they had that shorthanded 2-on-0, or if it was that other one. All killed.
Orpik turns the puck over. Pouliot goes glove side high™ on MAF. 2-0. All Bruins after that. Pens have to kill a Despres penalty. Matt Cooke's hand almost falls off after Corvo hits him with a slapper. Pens kill it. Cooke returns to the game.
Then something happens that never does.Pouliot runs MAF at one end, and then some other Bruin takes a penalty at the other end of the ice. Two penalties on the same play. Bizarre. 5-on-3 for an entire two minutes. Game rested in the balance. Malkin had a bunch of chances, but Thomas was insane. Crosby on point? Yeah, that worked. Killed.
Pretty much the game.
Bruins score early. Seguin beats MAF. 3-0. And the lights went out in Georgia.
Not content with just letting the Pens coast through the rest of the game, the hockey gods jump into dick mode.
1. Crosby collides with Kunitz. We were pretty sure Crosby actually died on the play, but he eventually returned.
2. Malkin gets rocked by Daniel Paille and his stupid cage. Malkin eventually returned with a busted-up lip. Pens will keep this play in their back pocket for a game where Paille isn't wearing a cage like a vagina. Bank on it.
One of the lone bright spots for the Pens was Joe Vitale.
Vitale set up a Matt Cooke goal to make it 3-1.
Then Vitale started going to the net and jobbing Thomas. He ended up fighting Campbell. Vitale sent a big-time message. There's a reason the media in attendance nudged him into the three stars of the game.
Pens had a few more chances after that, but Tim Thomas was obese. Game.
Footage for GIFs from Mike W. Becoming a steady presence.