Bruins win another in the third period


Bruins win another in the third period

Once again the Bruins separated from their opponent in the final 20 minutes of regulation in Bostons 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. It's become something of a calling card.

The Bruins have outscored other NHL teams by a 48-22 margin in the third periods of NHL games this season and that isnt just an accident.

Its also because the Bruins dont hold the third period up as an be-all end-all for winning or losing games either. They just simply look at it as an opportunity to continue attacking with the same consistent flow from the beginning to the ends of games. It's an approach that is the residue of winning a championship.

It also helps if youve done some researching into King Arthurs Court, as Tim Thomas seems to have done.

Its probably because were trying to play every period the same and were not putting an over-emphasis on any period, said Tim Thomas, who made 16 saves in a final 20 minutes that saw him in full brick wall mode. We have confidence that we have stronger as the game goes on.

Stronger 'til dawn like Sir Lancelot. I dont know if you guys know what that means. Back in medieval times the duels would go all night because they had the heavy armor and they could hardly move, and the legend is that Lancelot would just keep getting strong the longer they went on. So thats what I mean by that.

Much of it is predicated on the depth of their lines and their overall physical style that wears down opponents, but theres also the simple mechanics of a team that knows the best time to break their opponents.

When we play our game we just try to be consistent and I think the consistency eventually pays off. Its usually in the third period, said Andrew Ference. Good things happen if we get a good fore-check going and we get some extended shifts in their zone. It tires teams out, and I think that there are mistakes that are made when youre tired.

When were playing really good hockey, I think that helps us out. I think teams just, especially their defensemen . . . when our forwards do a good job and our fore-check can be really effective, guys get worn out.

Wave after wave of attackers come for the Bruins as Claude Julien rolls four lines. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron finally busted through with Marchands dangling one-on-one move following an elite Tyler Seguins saucer pass. That play was made possible by a softened Montreal defensemen corps that had made some mistakes through the game like P.K. Subbans soft play that turned into a goal off David Krejcis skate in the second period but was really ripe for the kill in the final 20 minutes.

Travis Moen gave away the puck to Bergeron by the Habs blue line, and Marchands score arrived just seconds later.

Theres a reason the Bs are a gaudy 17-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period: Killer instinct and good goaltending.

The team often talks about playing a full 60 minutes, but maybe they should just simply embrace the slogan stronger 'til dawn because thats exactly what they are.

Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'


Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – After serving as a healthy scratch for Thursday night’s home opener, Ryan Spooner will be back in the lineup manning the left wing position alongside David Krejci and David Backes as that line looks for an offensive breakthrough.

Spooner will also be looking to change his early season storyline as it’s clear that Claude Julien is looking for more from a player that looked a little too passive on the puck to start the season.

Spooner wasn’t really utilizing his speed to put pressure on opponents, he wasn’t creating enough on the power play and there were a couple of instances where his mistakes led to directly to goals against. That’s not a good combination from a B’s perspective with a player who has showed plenty of game-breaking talent while posting 13 goals and 49 points last season.

“I have to take [the scratch] as a message that I wasn’t the player that I can be,” said Spooner. “I have to use it as motivation and just go out there and play.”

The speedy, skilled forward had just a single assist in three games to start the season, but to be fair none of the three forwards on his line, Spooner, Krejci or rookie Danton Heinen, looked particularly good once Backes was moved to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron.

Instead, it looked like Krejci centering one player skating out of position (Spooner) and another young guy (Heinen) just trying to gain some confidence in the NHL and things looked much better for Krejci and Backes after being reunited on Thursday. Spooner’s speed and playmaking could be an asset there tonight vs. Montreal, and certainly could help a power play that is 1-for-14 through the first four games of the season.

“He just has to be better. That’s why we sat him out. He just wasn’t good enough and he’s capable of doing more,” said Claude Julien. “We expect more out of him. He’s a guy that can produce and can play the full game, and he’s shown that he can do it. It’s nothing something that he has to do, but it’s something that he can do. That’s what we want.”

So, Spooner was scratched for the home opener after totaling an assist and seven shots on net in the first three games, and knows that he needs to be better than he was in the early going.

“I wasn’t moving my feet. I think I was playing too much of a passive game. I need to use my speed a little more when I’m on the wing there,” said Spooner, who still hasn’t played much more than a couple dozen games at the wing over the course of his career. “The first two games I didn’t think I played good at all, and the last game against the Jets was just so-so. I don’t think it was good enough, so it needs to be better.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which players I was playing with, the game I was playing just wasn’t good enough. That’s on me and I need to change that.”

Spooner will get a big chance to change that conversation when he suits up in a top-six winger role with Krejci and Backes on Saturday night while looking to provide a little more balanced scoring against Montreal. 


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while suffering from the same “general soreness” as Tuukka Rask.

*The Arizona Coyotes are suffering from growing pains that were extremely evident during a winless road trip.

*Steve Dangle is obviously jacked and pumped about his Maple Leafs, but wondering about the future of Roman Polak. But aren’t we all at this point?

*Old friends Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg both scored the victorious Islanders in a Friday night win.

*Clarke MacArthur isn’t ready to retire even as concussion issues are really starting to impact his ability to stay on the ice.

*Teemu Selanne gives fellow Finn Patrick Laine a thumbs up as he was in town for events with his former Winnipeg Jets.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details on noted Bruins killer Dale Weise getting suspended for three games after some dirty activity with the Philadelphia Flyers.

*For something completely different: Geoff Edgers has been trying to reach Bill Murray for weeks, and here’s what happened when he finally called back.