BOSTON — Oddly enough, Blake Wheeler didn’t make any proclamations about taking more slap shots now that he scored on one in a huge 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers today at TD Banknorth Garden.
And he doesn’t expect to see his power-play role expanded any time soon either.
“No, we were joking in here, maybe (I’d) see some time on the point on the power play, but no, like I said, that’s probably the first time I’ve taken a slap shot in my career and I guess I’m 1-for-1, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that.”
Wheeler had to replace Dennis Wideman at the right point during the Bruins’ first-period cycle because the defenseman had carried the puck down low. Then P.J. Axelsson took possession and fed it out to Wheeler, who beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to the stick side.
“Yeah, I knew he was going to pass,” Wheeler said. “He rolled up for me and I was wide open. Before it kind of got caught low and I saw (Marc Savard) kind of off the side of the net, so I just wanted to shoot it low and hopefully he’d be the rebounder or something good could happen. I never anticipated it going in because I don’t really shoot the puck all that hard so I kind of just let it fly.”
It was an even more amazing goal considering it beat one of the league’s premier netminders, “King” Henrik.
“It went under my pads,” the goaltender said. “I just reached for it. It was like somebody touched it but nobody did. It just went straight down and to the right. It is a tough goal to lose a game on.”