Here are 16 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins sweeping out the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 4-1 score after 60 dominant minutes of action in Game 1 at TD Garden.
1) Great Redden’s Ghost! Who would have guess that Wade Redden would step up and enjoy the kind of impact after being back in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since he was locked in AHL jail by the New York Rangers and the former CBA? Both of Boston’s first period goals resulted from Redden shots at the net, the first as a goal from the outside of the left circle that James Reimer probably should have had and the second a shot from the slot as he crashed the net. The second shot was tipped home out of mid-air by Nathan Horton camped in front of the net. Redden has already had more impact in one playoff period than Tomas Kaberle had in the entire playoff run two years ago.
2) Two soft-ish goals by James Reimer and a few juicy rebounds as the Bruins stormed the net Toronto defense for 15 shots and a pair of scores. Several times the Bruins just couldn’t convert on the wide open rebounds and chances right in front of the net, but the young Toronto netminder is looking very shaky in his first playoff experience.
3) No shots on net and a minus-1 for the talkative Nazem Kadri in 4:23 of ice time during a very winnable first period.
4) The line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin had eight shots on net in the first period, and the entire Toronto lineup had seven in the first 20 minutes. James van Riemsdyk was excellent with three shots on net and Toronto’s only goal, but everybody else among the forward group seemed to leave their games in the dressing room.
5) Twenty seven hits between the two teams in the first period with Dion Phaneuf, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference and Shawn Thornton leading the way for the two teams. Plenty of nastiness and extracurricular activities with both Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren pulling the tag team act on Zdeno Chara at one point. Should be a fun, intense, bloody, rough series between the two Northeast Division rivals.
1) I guess you really can flip a switch in the playoffs, can’t you? Bruins look like they’re pulling the classic move of conserving during the regular season, and then coming out hitting everything in sight, dominating at both ends and finally finishing off some offensive plays. The Leafs look completely intimidated by the Bruins right now with their star guys getting pounded all over the ice.
2) Andrew Ference playing a pretty nasty game tonight. He threw an elbow in the first period and then caught Dion Phaneuf with a slash while skating through the crease after a whistle in the second period. It’s pretty clear that No. 21 is out for business right now, and playing a much different brand of hockey than he did during the regular season. Two shots, two hits, two blocked shots and a plus-1 in 13:10 of ice time.
3) No shots on net for the B’s fourth line, but their dominant shift in the second period pinned Mark Fraser and Mike Kostka in the defensive zone. That softened them up for the David Krejci goal that made it 3-1 against a couple of dog tired defenders, and really put the boot to Toronto’s throat. It’s a very good sign for the Bruins if their fourth line is having that kind of an impact in the game.
4) Zero shots attempted by Mr. Phil Kessel through two periods in 10:32 of ice time, and he appears to be looking all around the ice with his head on a swivel waiting for somebody to lower the boom on him. Tough to engage in some successful playoff hockey that way.
5) Johnny Boychuk having a whale of a game. His screaming Johnny Rocket from just inside the blue line beat James Reimer glove side high, and is one of four shots on net in 13:10 of ice time. He can impact games with his wicked slap shot when he’s accurate with it like he was in the second period.
6) Bruins aiming glove side high on James Reimer, who has looked very shaky thus far for the Maple Leafs. Bad rebounds and soft goals.
1) Weird play in the third period with Tyler Seguin shooting a puck that got caught between James Reimer’s pads, and Patrice Bergeron poked it into the net before the referees had whistled the play dead. It was originally called a goal on the ice, but the refs eventually met and overturned their call saying the puck was dead once it was under Reimer. Either blow the whistle or count it as a goal.
2) Three point night for David Krejci, who played very well and was right in the thick of things offensively.
3) Saw Jaromir Jagr skating on the top line right wing with Milan Lucic and Krejci for one shift. Could get used to that rather than watching the 41-year-old locked into a line with Chris Kelly and Kaspars Daugavins, who really can’t hang with him offensively.
4) Two shots on net and zero presence for Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri tonight. Great job by the Bruins shutting those two down, and allowing only James van Riemsdyk to get anything going offensively.
5) Andrew Ference blocking a Colton Orr shot into an empty net in the third period, and coming to the defense of Johnny Boychuk after he leveled Mikhail Grabovski in the corner with a viciously clean hit. Orr threw a cross-check at Boychuk after the hit, and Ference tackled the big Toronto enforcer. That is true leadership by No. 21. He also caught Grabovski with an elbow in the first period, but I haven’t been able to see how bad it was on any replays as of yet.