Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

Here are 15 thoughts from the game with the Bruins and New Jersey Devils tied at a 3-6 score after 60 minutes at the TD Garden and headed to overtime.

FIRST PERIOD

1) Thats all it took was the coach to throw his hands up and start making some changes. Claude Julien tinkered with the lines and put his best playmaker (David Krejci) and finisher (Tyler Seguin) together, and instant offense was born. Krejci looked like he was skating at a different gear than the past month after getting paired with No. 19 and Milan Lucic adds the size and strength that the other two cant provide. Five of the nine shots on net were from the Krejci line and they could have easily had a couple more goals were it not for Martin Brodeur.

2) Tim Thomas looks like hes in You Shall Not Pass mode after the first period. Ten saves for Thomas, and a pair of big stops led immediately to Bruins goals at the other end of the ice. He stoned Patrik Elias cold on a tip in front of the net in the opening minute, and that led to Seguin and Krejci transitioning into a goal. Then he stuffed Kovalchuk and assisted on Tyler Seguins goal after Milan Lucic manhandled Mark Fayne up the left boards.

3) Greg Zanon buried David Clarkson in front of the Boston bench toward the end of the first period and officially endeared himself to the Nation of Black and Gold sweater-wearing members.

4) Long scrap between Shawn Thornton and Eric Boulton immediately after Bostons first goal. Both landed some heavy hits before the decision eventually went to Thornton, but he did end the fight prematurely after appearing to get cut in the forehead area. He immediately exited the ice afterward and didnt return to the bench until the final minutes of the period.

5) Bruins have won nine out of 12 face-offs and appear to be playing with the energy and urgency that everybody expected on Tuesday night against the Senators. Better late than never I guess.

SECOND PERIOD

1) The second period continues to be a dud for the Bruins. As the Globes Kevin Paul Dupont has aptly pointed out, those second period shortcomings have meant the Bruins have trailed going into the third period in 18 of their last 22 games this season. Thats a tough path for a team that is much better as a front-runner.

2) Joe Corvo has to go. His neutral zone turnover led to New Jerseys first goal and he half-heartedly skated to get back into the play as Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise buried Dennis Seidenberg on a 2-on-1. He was taken off the pairing with Dennis Seidenberg for a bit, but then was on the ice for New Jerseys second goal on his first shift paired back up with Seidenberg again. Hes been brutal defensively and non-existent offensively: its time for him to hit the pine for a stretch.

3) Tim Thomas was great in the first period and parts of the second period, but couldnt hold back the Jersey onslaught once it got started in the middle period. The Patrik Elias goal arrived after a puck bounced off Dennis Seidenberg in front of the net and a David Clarkson wraparound bid hit Andrew Ference between squeaking between Tim Thomas and the right post. Not his fault, but Thomas needs to find a way to keep New Jerseys third goal out of the net as he hugs the post.

4) Big miss by David Krejci midway through the first on the shorthanded breakaway looms large now. If Krejci gets that puck past Martin Brodeur it might have been a different game with the Bruins up 3-0. Give Brodeur some credit for locking things down after letting Boston go up by a couple of goals.

5) Bruins cant afford to let this one slip away. Boos at the end of the second period after watching the Bs self-destruct.

THIRD PERIOD

1) The Brian Rolston spot on the Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron line might not work for very long. Marchand looks like a shell of himself forced to play the off-wing on the right side. Not a good trade-off just to get Rolston into a comfortable spot in the lineup.

2) Two goals for David Krejci. The hot and cold extremes have become more pronounced as he gained experience in the NHL. One has to really wonder why that is.

3) Joe Corvo benched for much of the third period as the Bruins went with five defensemen for long stretch of the final 20 minutes. Its looking more and more like he may be the healthy scratch when the Bs take the ice again Saturday night at TD Garden.

4) After watching one game from Greg Zanon, he is going to fit in really nicely with the Bruins. Three registered hits and a physical presence to go along with the willingness to step in front of any number of shots.

5) Brian Rolston looks like he doesnt have a lot of legs during these grueling shifts for the Bruins. Dont see the skating jets that he used to have in his first stint, but perhaps that was to be expected.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.