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Manny Was the Man

Fernandez was fantastic

Wednesday, 04.01.2009 / 9:00 AM / Features
By John Bishop  -
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Manny Was the Man
Manny Fernandez
Boston, MA -- On a night when two Bruins scored their 20th goals of the season (Chuck Kobasew, Blake Wheeler), Zdeno Chara put together a Gordie Howe hat trick (with a goal, an assist and a fight) and Milan Lucic earned a one-punch TKO (over Josef Melichar), the biggest story of the B's 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning was the outstanding play of Manny Fernandez.

"He was obviously much better than he was in Toronto," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien to the gathered media in his postgame press conference. "He looked a lot more confident, he looked a lot more poised tonight.

"He made a couple of good saves at the right time and if he keeps getting better like that then we have [the same] situation that we had when things were going well – it was a good two-man tandem that gave us that strength in net."

"Well it certainly feels good," said Fernandez from the victorious B's locker room. "It feels good to get that one out of the [way]. You start to wonder, but again, this just shows the kind of team that we have.

"They played terrific in front of me tonight...they got me over the hump."

I think from here on out we let the personal stats take a hike and what's important is that we get two points every night - Manny Fernandez
And the sound of CLANG behind him in the third was music -- check that, was the Boston Pops -- to Fernandez's ears.

"That post there in the third --It felt good to have a post going my way," he said. "Finally."

Fernandez explained that Tuesday night's game was less of a grind than last Saturday in Toronto.

"Tonight it actually felt good," said Fernandez. "That first period helped me out, even if I only had four shots. I was finally seeing some shots straight on.

"It wasn’t 'hits a stick, hits a skate and goes in ten million directions.' It was a little bit more bang on."

Beyond the victory, Julien reitterated the importance of having two strong netminders.

"I think we’ve seen over the years, times where things happen," said Julien. "There’s things that can happen in any game that you can’t control and you’re going to need your second goaltender at some point.

"Detroit did it with Osgood and Hasek. Ward in Carolina replaced [Gerber]. There’s situations like that happen and I'm certainly not saying that that’s going to happen to us, but I'm just saying that it’s important to have your backup goaltender ready for action if called upon.

"And I think it’s only fair to our team, players and our team to make sure that he’s as sharp as he can be once we head into the playoffs," he said.

Fernandez agreed and intamated that whatever role or game time he garners is fine with him.

"I think from here on out we let the personal stats take a hike and what’s important is that we get two points every night," said the veteran netminder. "It doesn’t matter how it comes.

"There won’t be any easy ones from here on out. Even teams like tonight. They’ve got nothing to lose so we’ve got to make sure that we put it away, and we put it away early. Discourage them and go from there."




1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
5 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43


P. Bergeron 62 18 27 5 45
L. Eriksson 62 15 21 3 36
B. Marchand 58 19 16 9 35
M. Lucic 62 14 21 12 35
R. Smith 63 12 23 12 35
D. Hamilton 63 10 25 1 35
C. Soderberg 63 10 25 7 35
T. Krug 59 11 20 8 31
C. Kelly 61 7 20 9 27
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
T. Rask 25 16 10 .920 2.35
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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