Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils

Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Devils
April 4, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Here are 15 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins leading the New Jersey Devils by a 1-0 score after 60 minutes of action at TD Garden.

FIRST PERIOD

1) Jaromir Jagr definitely has a presence and skates with a different kind of grace when he’s on the ice. But he also moves along pretty slowly at this point, and perhaps isn’t the best fit skating alongside rabbits like Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. He’s so different from other B’s players that it might take them a little more time to get used to playing with him. He had a couple of nice tips and looks like he’s going to be really good in close around the net, though.

2) Bruins outshot by a 17-6 margin in the first period. The forward groups looked like they were introducing new players and were a little out of synch, and the defense once again looking soft early in this one. Plenty of good chances for the Devils including a great Tuukka Rask save on Alex Ponivarovksy in the middle of the period, and a subsequent reaction stop on David Clarkson.

3) Tyler Seguin 0-for-3 on face-offs and not looking too confident in the circle taking draws. He was otherwise good, but that’s a skill he’s going to have to sharpen up once again. Big drop from the NHL’s best face-off guy in Patrice Bergeron.

4) Four shots on net for David Clarkson. Still not exactly sure why the Devils potentially had him on the trade market because he’s the kind of player many, many teams would love to have. Strong and willing to aggravate opponents while staying active around the high traffic areas in the offensive end.

5) Fun to watch Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur holding a lengthy conversation while they were stretching out near center ice at the beginning moments of the pregame warm-up. Wonder if they were talking about awesome they were back in Sega Genesis 95?

SECOND PERIOD

1) What did we say about Jaromir Jagr being good around the net? He moves in toward the cage on a two-man rush with Brad Marchand, and has a Nose Face Killah pass go right off his skate for the game’s only goal. It’s also his 15th goal of the season, which is more than anybody else on the Bruins.

2) Not sure whether it’s because his boyhood idol Jagr is playing on the Bruins or if it’s because Claude Julien gave David Krejci the “A” for his sweater in Patrice Bergeron’s absence, but the Czech pivot has been playing with a whole different level of intensity tonight. He lit up David Clarkson on a hit in the corner and has been skating full speed into one-on-one battles all over the ice. Two shots on and 3-for-6 on face-offs thus far, but the energy has been good.

3) Jaromir Jagr played all two minutes on Boston’s only power play of tonight, and one would hope that’s something we see plenty of in the regular season and the playoffs. He makes a PP possession seem so much different with his ability to hold the puck and set up plays all over the offensive zone. He had a couple of nice plays from his position holding the puck behind the net, but Bruins didn’t end up scoring.

4) It’s amazing to watch how much better Matt Bartkowski has become in his latest stint with the Bruins this season. He’s playing with way more confidence with the puck on his stick and he’s avoiding costly mistakes in his own end. He looks like a bona fide NHL defenseman now where you couldn’t have said that about him in the past.

5) Bruins have lost 17-of-31 face-offs. They’re definitely missing Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly on the draws right about now.

THIRD PERIOD

1) Seven of their last 10 games have been one goal games for the Bruins. They’re just not playing with any kind of margin for error this season.

2) Johnny Boychuk took a puck in the mouth and looked like he might have lost a couple of teeth in the second period. He finished off his shift and returned in the same period. He might be the toughest guy on the team in terms of pain threshold.

3) What goalie controversy? Tuukka Rask was awesome tonight. Thirty nine saves for the shutout.

4) Interesting watching Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic playing with the knowledge that Jaromir Jagr is there if their play starts to slacken. Both forwards played with energy, physicality and high motor tonight. No goals, but they were very good.

5) 680 career goals and 1,680 career points for Jagr in his Bruins debut. Meant to be, right?