Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Maple Leafs

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Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Maple Leafs

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Toronto Maple Leafs by a whopping 4-0 score after the first 20 minutes at TD Garden.

1) The Bruins needed to jump all over the Maple Leafs early to discourage their flickering playoff hopes, and thats exactly what they did while jumping all over Toronto with four goals. Instead of relaxing when they were already up a couple of goals quickly they kept pouring it on and lit up the scoreboard with two more goals. It included Chris Kelly opening things up and the Bruins are 15-0-0 this season when the third line center scores a goal.

2) The Bruins are back on the scoreboard and theyre also back on the fight card. Gregory Campbell scrapped with Luke Schenn after a scrum in front of the Boston net, and Milan Lucic followed with another one-sided beatdown of Mike Komisarek that was punctuated with a series of upper-cut rights that snapped the Toronto defensemans head back. Komisarek deserves some credit for going after Lucic, but hes never going to get the upper hand on No. 17 in a fight.

3) Funny that Shawn Thornton gets his two-year deal announced to cheers on the jumbotron, and then Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell a pair of pending unrestricted free agents that want deals just like Thornton scored the first two goals of the game. Looks like theyre making a statement about wanting to get taken care of as well, but Peter Chiarelli said it wont happen until after the year is over.

4) Bruins are 9-1-0 when Benoit Pouliot scores a goal. The Kelly and Pouliot stats continue to underscore just how important that secondary scoring is to the Bruins success this season.

5) The Leafs are just pitiful. Outscored 32-10 by the Bruins and about to go 0-6-0 against the Bruins this season. That is just domination for the Black and Gold.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Toronto Maple Leafs by a whopping 7-0 score after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden.

1) Four points (1 goal and three assists) for Brian Rolston, who is suddenly finding the fountain of youth at 39 years old. It actually makes plenty of logical sense that Rolston is finding his game now as he was basically rotting away with the New York Islanders due to injuries, inconsistent playing time and a flat-lined environment. Now back with the Bruins Rolston has seven points in his last three games while gelling with Benoit Pouliot and Chris Kelly.

2) Joe Corvo has watched the Bruins play two of their best games in weeks with him as a healthy scratch up in the press box. Hes going to need an injury to get back into the mix with the playoffs fast approaching. Its been clear how much better the Bruins are around the net in their own zone without Corvo to worry about.

3) Will Marty Turco get into this game in the third period? It could happen. Thomas has only faced seven shots in the first two periods, but is Claude Julien going to take the Bs goaltender out of a shutout performance?

4) Greg Zanon with a shot, a hit, two blocked shots and a plus-1, and hes been playing better since being given a chance back in the Boston lineup at Corvos expense. Much better and more comfortable around the net, and his physicality is starting to shine through a little bit. It was Zanon throwing a shove at a rushing Leafs player that started the CampbellSchenn fireworks in the first period.

5) James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson just arent good enough as an NHL goaltending tandem for the Maple Leafs. Losing track of players with the puck behind the net, botching loose pucks around the trapezoid area and just flat getting beaten on glove-side shots. Toronto needs to upgrade in the offseason in that department.

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.