Haggerty's preseason thoughts from Bruins - Caps

Haggerty's preseason thoughts from Bruins - Caps
September 17, 2013, 8:00 pm
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BALTIMORE -- Here's five thoughts from the first period with the Capitals holding a 1-0 lead over the Bruins after the first 20 minutes at the Baltimore Arena.

1) Chris Casto and Joe Morrow don't appear quite ready for prime time after their first 20 minutes. Casto caught looking in front of the net as allowed big-bodied Tom Wilson to camp out in front for Washington's goal. Boston defenseman don't typically allow opponents to get to the net front area that easily even if the pass from the point was a good one.

2) Bobby Robins needed little more than 8 minutes to start his first fight of the preseason. He dropped the gloves with Dane Byers, but the Washington tough guy scored the take-down along with the instigator penalty afterward.

3) Tough arena conditions for teams tonight. A metal stanchion fell from its place betwee the board glass and delayed play after a body check jostled it loose, and Johnny Boychuk hit a rut in the ice while winding up for a Johnny Rocket. The Baltimore Arena is like the rink from the 1980's that time forgot.

4) A couple of good, dogged, gritty shifts from Reilly Smith early in the game, including one where he and Justin Florek hemmed Washington in with their fore-check at the end of an expired power play.

5) No instant chemistry in tonight's PP units after four power play goals last night. Brad Marchand, Carter Camper, Loui Eriksson, Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton manning their first unit, and not getting too many quality chances.

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Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Capitals by a 1-0 score in a game delayed by a pane of glass that fell out of the boards at Baltimore Arena.

1) I'd expect this might be the first and last time the Bruins play here. Stanchions and panes of glass giving way and falling on the players after slight body checks, and ice conditions that leave something to be desired. Seemed to these eyes that the arena is a hazard to the players on the ice, and that can't happen in the preseason or the regular season.

2) Interesting scene as Tuukka Rask wanted to come out midway through the second period on an icing call, but the refs wouldn't allow Niklas Svedberg to replace him. Must have been because of the icing call, but it doesn't make practical sense that you couldn't change out goalies there. Anyway, Svedberg came in on the next whistle with little to no fanfare.

3) Alex Ovechkin is playing tonight, but is in Dale Hunter/Bruce Boudreau mode, which means I haven't noticed him the entire game.

4) Brad Marchand seems to be overpassing a bit trying to get Alex Khokhlachev on the scoreboard with a goal. That's a good veteran move, and somewhat typical of Marchand sometimes getting too unselfish while attempting to feed teammates.

5) Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg and Chris Kelly all wearing the "A" on their sweaters tonight.