Last night, after the Bruins 2-1 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks, Bear Force One was the happiest plane I have been on in quite some time.
The Bruins victory, which dropped the Sharks to 5-6 in shootouts this season, also left San Jose tied with Chicago for the league lead in points with 68. The win also marked a high point in the season for the Black & Gold, who had previously been on a three game losing skid.
The goalies, Evgeni Nabokov and Tim Thomas
, put on a dazzling display. And both coaches appreciated their work.
"You can tell why both of those goaltenders have been considered, well one of them has won it, for the Vezina over the last couple years," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.
"You’ve got to give them a lot of credit," explained McLellan of the Bruins. "They played very well defensively. Their goalie gave them an opportunity. They didn’t make many mistakes.
"We had to earn anything we got and we did get some chances.”
But those chances were stiffled by Thomas.
"It’s two tough games in two nights with the travel...and we know what kind of team San Jose is," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "We made a lot of things happen tonight.
"Timmy had to steal us one and our top guys had to be our top guys."
But the list of Boston superlatives didn't stop in the crease.
"Zee [Zdeno Chara
] had so much ice and then had to play against those big guys all night," said Julien. "[Mark] Recchi, you know a guy who’s been out of position, had over 20 minutes of ice with his line...[and] Daniel Paille
; the way he played tonight.
"[Matt] Hunwick was unbelievable, I mean, I can go down the list.
"Our team just showed up tonight and that was...nice to see that [the Bruins] got rewarded with a win."
And today, the Bruins get rewarded with a day off.