ANAHEIM, CA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Anaheim Ducks locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes at the Honda Center.
1) Six saves for Marty Turco in a solid first period that saw him bounce back nicely from the disastrous start he had against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week. He looked well within the fact pace of the game and made a nice snapping glove save on Bobby Ryan at the end of the first period. Thats going to give the Bruins some confidence that he can make another couple starts for Boston over the last handful of games.
2) The Bruins have won 14 out of 18 face-offs in the first period led by Patrice Bergeron winning 6-of-8 and Gregory Campbell, David Krejci and Rich Peverley going undefeated in seven draws during the first period.
3) So why did Daniel Paille get scratched with Rich Peverley returning to the lineup? Quite simply all of the other candidates were playing far too well to hit the bench: Jordan Caron has been playing physical hockey with strength along the boards, and the third line of Rolston, Pouliot and Kelly has been Bostons best line for weeks now.
4) Bobby Ryan decked Patrice Bergeron near the end of the first period in front of the Anaheim bench, and really went at No. 37 aggressively. Will be interesting to see the Bruins answer here in the second period.
5) Rich Peverley looked good skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in the first period. He had a nice attempt from the slot after Bergeron stole the puck from Cam Fowler, but Jonas Hiller snapped it up with a quick glove. Hiller has looked good today.
The Bruins took care of their biggest priority today as they reached agreement with Brad Marchand on an eight-year contract extension, according to several reports.
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Elliotte Friedman reports Marchand has agreed to an eight year, $49 million extension ($6.125 million per season) that will effectively allow him to finish his career in Boston.
It was felt the Bruins would have been playing with fire if they allowed Marchand -- a 37-goal scorer last year -- to start the season unsigned, especially after he ripped up the World Cup of Hockey competition on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby. Bruins president Cam Neely told CSN a couple of weeks ago that Boston was aiming to get the deal done with Marchand prior to the start of the regular season. In fact, they managed to get it done before the start of even the preseason.
Marchand has consistently said that he wants to finish out his career with the Bruins, who drafted and developed him and with whom he turned into an elite player in the last couple of years. He’s clearly taking a hometown discount to stick with Boston.
This is what Marchand said to CSN on breakup day last April:
“I obviously love being a part of this organization, this city and this team, and I don’t think this team is done having some good runs. I would love to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career, but the reality is when you look around the league that it doesn’t happen for many guys. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.”
Well, the time came and Marchand put his money where his sometimes big mouth usually is. The Bruins agitator easily could have demanded a yearly salary of $7 million-plus in free agency.
Credit to Don Sweeney and Neely for closing the deal with Marchand, and ticking one very important thing off their checklist that will help make the Bruins great again.