Five thoughts: Bruins-Islanders

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Five thoughts: Bruins-Islanders

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders locked up in a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes on the TD Garden ice.

1) Dougie Hamilton really has a knack for finding shooting lanes and ways to get pucks through to the net, doesnt he? It was his big blast from the right point that caused a juicy Rick DiPietro rebound that Shawn Thornton backhanded into the net for the games first goal. A nice little piece of retribution for Thornton after he was unable to clear a puck against the Rangers that led to a goal in the third period against the Bruins. Two points in the last two games for Hamilton, who is making that second PP unit look very good when it gets on the ice.

2) Four registered hits and a plus-1 for Dennis Seidenberg after the first period in 6:03 of ice time, and no worse for the wear in his return from a lower body injury after missing two games. He even absorbed a big Matt Martin hit early in the game as any good pain sponge should and would.

3) Had to feel good for Waltham native Keith Aucoin to get the equalizer for the Islanders as he tries to secure himself a permanent NHL gig on Long Island. It was a rare blown defensive assignment for Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk that freed up Colin McDonald to find Aucoin cutting to the net. Rich Peverley and Chris Bourque also dropped to minus-3 on the season as they were forward group on the ice for the goal against.

4) The Islanders will gladly trade Matt Carkner for Milan Lucic after the two dropped gloves in the first period, but No. 17 showed that area of his game is perfectly healthy after leveling Carkner with a straight right to the jaw. The Isles tough guy popped right up, but Lucic hit him right on the button.

5) More fight club later in the period as Daniel Paille crushed former BU defenseman Brian Strait with a hit in the corner, and then was jumped by Matt Martin looking for a fight. Paille dropped his gloves, but Shawn Thornton stepped in before the fight got started. Thornton was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct for protecting his linemate, but wasnt given a third man in as the sequence wasnt considered an actual altercation with no punches thrown. Otherwise No. 22 might have been ejected as a third man in, but that didnt happen.

SECOND PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders locked up in a 2-2 tie after the first 40 minutes on the TD Garden ice.

1) Bruins are 0-for-3 on the power play again tonight, and had one that was a real dogs breakfast for two minutes in the second period. No urgency snapping the puck around and no movement. That being said the Dougie Hamilton-led second PP unit is doing a much better job of moving around and generating chances right now than the Tyler Seguin-led top unit. Its easy to see why Claude Julien keeps putting that second unit out there despite big names like Seguin, Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and David Krejci on the first unit. At least that unit was able to free Seguin up for a one-timer in their final power play of the period, but theyre now 1-for-17 on the PP for the season.

2) Two Bruins goals from the fourth line with Shawn Thorntons rebound score and a Gregory Campbell strike after a long David Krejci shot bounced off Joe Finleys skate in front of the net.

3) One shot and a minus-3 from the third line of Chris Kelly, Chris Bourque and Rich Peverley so far tonight. They just dont look good as a unit right now, and youve got to wonder when things will get changed up if they continue to be invisible during five-on-five play.

4) Got to feel good for Chelmsford High legend Keith Aucoin, who has both goals on the night for the Islanders and is really entrenching himself as an NHL guy after bouncing between the AHL and the NHL. The second goal was a straight bomb from the high slot that beat Tuukka Rask glove-side high.

5) Six hits and three blocked shots for Dennis Seidenberg tonight. The Bruins definitely miss that willingness to sacrifice and absorb punishment for team gain when hes out of the lineup.

THIRD PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Boston Bruins taking down the New York Islanders by a 4-2 score after 60 minutes on the TD Garden ice.

1) Not a dominant night for them against a weak-ish Islanders defensive corps, but a timely goal from the LucicHortonKrejci line in the third period finished off by Zdeno Chara from the high slot. Theyve come to play in the opening weeks of the season and its making all the difference for the Black and Gold.

2) Dougie Hamilton with a sweet tape-to-tape outlet pass to a streaking Brad Marchand that turns into a Patrice Bergeron breakaway goal. Thats two assists from Hamilton in the first multi-point game of his NHL career. The Bruins have got themselves something special.

3) Posts hit for Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley in the third period as the Bruins really turned it on against a team that was playing the second night of back-to-back games.

4) First goals of the season for both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron in the third period. The Bruins needed their money players to step up after the fourth line was keeping them in the game.

5) Four games and no goals for Tyler Seguin. Been a really slow start for the 20-year-old after he lit things up in Switzerland. Didnt see that one coming at all now, but its clear hes putting extra effort in now to get things going.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre