Five Thoughts: Bruins-Maple Leafs

Five Thoughts: Bruins-Maple Leafs
March 23, 2013, 7:30 pm
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TORONTO – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the Air Canada Centre.

1)    A rough period for Dennis Seidenberg, who has shown signs of fatigue over the last couple of weeks despite notching the game-winner against the Senators on Thursday night. He let Nazem Kadri get behind him to receive the filthy saucer pass from John-Michael Liles, and Kadri buried a shot past Anton Khudobin. He had a couple of iffy passes coming out of the defensive zone and turnovers in the neutral zone, and didn’t seem sharp at all. But we’ve seen the German defenseman go through periods like this when the heavy minutes he’s played seem to catch up to him.

2)    Bruins just don’t have any finish to their offensive game right now. A couple of good chances in front of the Toronto net, but Daniel Paille can’t lift shots on a pair of point blank chances, and Nathan Horton had an eternity with a loose puck in front at the end of the first period. James Reimer was down and out, but Horton couldn’t get any lift on what would have been a very big goal.

3)    Matt Bartkowski came out of the first period a minus-1 and looked shaky early, but seemed to be getting a bit better as the period was moving along. On the goal allowed he was on the other side of the ice when John-Michael Liles and Kadri hooked up for the goal.

4)    Nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) for Nazem Kadri in his last three games and his team-leading 14th goal scored. The Toronto center is on fire and carrying the Leafs offense. The Bruins could use somebody like that right about now.

5)     For the most part was a pretty good period for Boston as they held the Leafs to just four shots and have a handful of scoring chances for themselves. But they still trail 1-0 after the first 20 minutes. That’s just the way things are going for the Black and Gold right now.

SECOND PERIOD

TORONTO – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 2-0 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Air Canada Centre.

1)    Bruins are out-shooting the Leafs by a 20-9 margin and losing 2-0 after 40 minutes. It’s been that kind of season for the Bruins, hasn’t it been? Plenty of good offensive chances they couldn’t put the finishing touch on while the Leafs scored on their best two scoring chances of the game thus far.

2)    Milan Lucic with zero shots, one hit, one stick broken out of frustration and a minus-1 rating in 11:36 of ice time after two periods. Many turnovers. After one of them in the offensive zone he slammed his stick against the boards and then snapped it over the bench before leaving the ice. He looks thoroughly and completely lost right now…just not in a good place and it’s affecting a Bruins team that relies on for so much of their offensive direction.

3)    Six of the Bruins’ 20 shots from the fourth line and Shawn Thornton tangled with Colton Orr after Toronto’s first goal in the first period during an extended heavyweight bout. They look like they’re moving at a different, faster speed than Boston’s other forward lines. Pretty eye-opening to see the Krejci line go off and have them come on next. Two Bruins lines in very different places right now.

4)    Matt Bartkowski is now a minus-2 and took an interference penalty when he was clearing out Tyler Bozak in front of the net. Another tough game for him with the Bruins, but I actually think he’s played better than the numbers are dictating after 9:32 of ice time in the first two periods.

5)    Bruins have looked their best on the two penalty kills tonight. Whatever kind of desperation they have to play with shorthanded would look very good during five-on-five play. The B’s have to figure out a way to manufacture some desperation because they’re not playing with it right now.

6)    Extended conversation between Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin at the end of the second period on the ice. Not sure what that was about. Maybe talking about the nice Mats Sundin ceremonies that have been going on all night.

THIRD PERIOD

TORONTO – Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 3-2 score after 60 minutes of action at the Air Canada Centre.

1)    Anton Khudobin pulled after a bow wow goal allowed to Toronto enforcer Frazer McLaren in the opening moments of the third period. Don’t think there will be any goaltending controversy in Boston.

2)    The Bruins did a good job of scoring right after Tuukka Rask was inserted into the game with a Dennis Seidenberg point shot, but couldn’t capitalize when they had Toronto on the ropes. It’s the story of their season.

3)    Johnny Boychuk walking around free and easy in the Toronto press box during the game. He looks like he shouldn’t miss too much time at all after taking the shot off the side of his foot.

4)    Two shots from the third line and both of them from Rich Peverley. Tough to get anything done when the chances and ice time isn’t there, and they haven’t really pushed to deserve more. Spooner had one nice rush into the offensive zone with a drop pass to set up Rich Peverley, but that was it from that trio for the night. Peverley put on a line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille at the end of the game.

5)    Five hits, one shot and a plus-1 in nearly 20 minutes of ice time for Aaron Johnson. He’s been pretty good since jumping in for the Bruins. Not a world beater by any means, but he’s been solid.