Player of the Game: Bruins-Canadiens Game 4
He got the call from Peter Chiarelli Thursday to make his way to the Bell Centre for Game 4 versus the Montreal Canadiens. Matt Fraser’s way of thanking Chiarelli you may ask? Netting the game-winner in overtime in his first career playoff game to even the series at two games apiece.
Yes, he was the hero on Thursday night with the lone goal, but his overall game was impressive. He did not look timid in the least bit. He skated, he had good vision and when he had a shot, he wasn’t afraid to throw it on Carey Price.
The name Fraser may ring a bell to Bruins’ fans-he was part of the Tyler Seguin deal last July that gave him a chance in the Bruins organization. So far, he has not disappointed. Fraser has as many goals in one playoff game this season as Seguin did (one) in 21 less games played in the post season last season and will most certainly fill the void on the third line alongside Carl Sodeberg and Loui Eriksson come Saturday night at TD Garden in Game 5. The trio was a bright spot for the Black and Gold on this night creating numerous scoring opportunities and finally cracking Price for the game-winner minutes into the first overtime.
Fraser did see some burn for the B’s early on this season playing in 14 games where he scored two goals. So he is somewhat use to the system, but Captain Zdeno Chara was impressed with the winger’s poise.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said the 6-foot-9 defenseman. “For a guy that hasn’t spent that much time with us, filling the role on that spot.”
With the emotions of playing in playoffs alone being high, Fraser admitted he didn’t get much shut-eye at all and after tonight’s thrilling victory, it may be much of the same.
“I hardly slept today,” Fraser said with a big smile on his face after his team’s 1-0 overtime win. “I’m sure I’ll hardly sleep tonight.”
Teammate Torey Krug reminisced about his game-winning goal last year in the post season and recalled not being able to describe his state of mind-much like Fraser after tonight’s game.
“If he can describe the feeling right now then good for him,” Krug said. “I had a hard time doing it last year.”
Fraser agreed with Krug while fielding questions with the media after the game while he was at a loss for words.
“I don’t even want to begin to try to explain it because that’s something I wish every kid could feel,” Fraser said with excitement.
Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla who has seen just about everything in his illustrious career had yet to see a player called up the day of and score a playoff game-winning goal the same night.
“No, I have never seen that,” Iginla said. “And that’s pretty cool.”
Fraser was wearing the “Old Time Hockey” jacket after the game presented to the player who made a significant difference in the game. Yes, he deserved it without a question. But, what cannot go unnoticed was Rask’s 33-save effort-good for his fifth career NHL playoff shutout, Carl Soderberg’s dominant effort all night long as well as the phenomenal play from blue-liner Dougie Hamilton who seems to get better each and every game.
When asked what he did when he saw the puck cross the line, Fraser smiled and said, “I can’t repeat the words. I’m still shaking with excitement as you can tell.”
See what Fraser had to say about his OT winner and more as the Bruins react to their 1-0 overtime win.