Haggerty's thoughts from P-Bruins vs. IceCaps

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Haggerty's thoughts from P-Bruins vs. IceCaps

PROVIDENCE, RI -- Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Providence Bruins leading the St. John's IceCaps by a 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

1) A goal 22 seconds in for P-Bruins emotional catalyst Bobby Robbins, who has been bringing it to Providence this season. Fitting he now has a score to go with the 33 penalty minutes he's amassed in six games.

2) Providence Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy looks like he's paired Ryan Spooner and Chris Bourque back together after leaving them on separate lines to start the season. Bourque is off to a good start and nearly tipped Garnet Exelby's shot past the IceCaps goalie in the first period.

3) Niklas Svedberg was a last-minute insert into the lineup at goaltender for the P-Bruins as Michael Hutchinson continues to look like he's fighting the puck. Svedberg only faced five shots in the first, but he stopped them all.

4) The P-Bruins continue to control puck possession and dominate the shot charts. Fourteen shots in the first period for Providence compared to five for St. John's. That should be a formula to win, but Providence hasn't been stopping enough pucks early in the year.

5) Five points in seven games along with 11 PIMs for Jamie Tardif and an even plusminus rating. He's been a real bright spot for Providence this season as a veteran presence.

Five thoughts from the second period with Providence leading the St. John's IceCaps by a 2-0 score:

1) Save of the game by Niklas Svedberg on Maxime Macenauer in the middle of the second period on a short-handed bid. He kicked out a quick leg to make the stop, one of his 10 saves through two periods. Svedberg is putting a vice grip on the starting job with the P-Bruins through the first month.

2) Good power play puck movement leads to Providence's second goal. Ryan Spooner moved in toward the net and drew the defense's attention before sliding a cross-ice pass to a wide open Carter Camper. The pass was so good that Camper had all day to load up the gun and fire the puck in for a PP score.

3) Four shots on net for Chris Bourque through two periods to lead Providence. The P-Bruins are leaving him out for the entire two-minute run on PP's with both units and it's paying dividends on a man advantage that's had its good moments.

4) The Providence defense has been lacking at times, but they've been a lockdown unit today while the Bruins dominate puck possession.

5) Alex Burmistrov has been very, very quiet for St. John's today for a guy with an NHL resume. No shots and no impact.

Five thoughts from the third period with the Providence Bruins taking a 3-0 win over the St. John's IceCaps:

1) Good day for the Providence energy line as Lane MacDermid notched his first goal of the season after following on the rebound of a Bobby Robins shot. Robins finished with two points along with his customarily exuberant play.

2) Haven't seen much out of Justin Florek early in this season for the P-Bruins. He took a delay of game penalty in the first period, but was held without a shot otherwise. Florek is scoreless with a minus-2 rating in five games.

3) IceCaps started to pour it on a little bit in the third period, but Niklas Svedberg turned everything away he saw for his first career shutout in North American pro hockey.

4) Not a lot of offensive involvement for the Providence defensemen today. Perhaps that's an adjustment after some porous play last weekend, but it's led to a much more air-tight effort.

5) So which song becomes a staple in the TD Garden rotation when the NHL finally goes get going: "Gangnam Style" or "Call Me Maybe?" Credit to the Patriot Ledger's Mike Loftus for asking that burning question in the P-Bruins press box.

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.