Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins - Canadiens

Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins - Canadiens
March 3, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Montreal Canadiens by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of play at the Bell Centre.

1) There was some sloppy play from the Bruins in the first period as the Canadiens poured on 14 shots to Boston’s nine and were badly out-shooting the B’s until later on in the period.

2) Six points in six games for Tyler Seguin as he snapped off another goal from the front of the net mere seconds after Montreal had jumped on the board first. Seguin looks more engaged, did a nice job of back-checking on a play when Dennis Seidenberg fell down while back-peddling into the defensive zone and won a puck battle with Tomas Plekanec in the corner to keep the power play alive at the end of the first period. He also had another shot from down low in the left circle, but zinged it high and wide before dropping his head in momentary shame at missing the golden chance.

3) The Bruins are normally very good at fighting the quick strike goal after they score, but they didn’t do that this time around. The Habs came right back off a David Krejci turnover and David Desharnais fired a shot off Johnny Boychuk’s skate that went by Tuukka Rask. Krejci’s level of play has dropped in the last couple of games and that’s something to keep an eye on.

4) The Bruins hit three posts in the period. Chris Kelly on a rush down the right wing and Patrice Bergeron with a bid from the left circle happened in successive shifts. But the Habs also hit a post early on when Lars Eller snapped an open shot from the high slot off the left post and then into the corner.

5) The Bruins have now given up four power play goals in the last three games after giving up four power plays total in the first 17 games of the season. Some of it is playing teams with good power plays, but some of it is the league’s best offensive players really starting to get into peak form.

6) Shawn Thornton cruising around with a mean streak tonight. He went for a hit on P.K. Subban toward the end of the first period, and instead leveled Jay Pandolfo with the body check. He then started roughing up Tomas Plekanec in front of the Montreal bench. Two shots on net and two hits in 3:03 of ice time and it looks like the healthy scratch got his nasty back.

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Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Montreal Canadiens by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at TD Garden.

1) A lot going on that period. Let’s start with the fireworks at the end. Alexei Emelin cross-checked Tyler Seguin in the ribs right in front of the Bruins bench, and Seguin immediately went right down the runway. Emelin actually broke his stick with the cross-check. Zdeno Chara also immediately made a B-line for Emelin and tuned him up in the corner as the Bruins captain should do when a Montreal brigand targets the B’s best offensive player with a cheap hit. But Emelin wasn’t whistled for the cross-check and Chara was slapped with an instigator call for policing the incident on his own. Hate that rule when it stands in the way of a player getting punished for a dirty hit.

2) Milan Lucic and Brandon Prust also dropped gloves after Adam McQuaid and Lars Eller started cross-checking each other in the corner. Lucic once again gets the better of the smaller Prust before ending the fight with a haymaker punch thrown after the B’s power forward’s jersey had been pulled over his head. That was the good. The bad was a holding penalty on P.K. Subban in the offensive zone that was both ill-timed and not a smart idea at all. It was the third time Lucic has fought Prust, which is the most of any opponent in his NHL career.

3) Great play by Tyler Seguin to set up Boston’s game-tying score in the second period as he attacked the net before flipping a backhanded pass to Patrice Bergeron waiting in front. The original pass hit Bergeron’s skate, but he was able to shovel a backhander past Peter Budaj for the goal. Seguin is all over the ice tonight making plays in all three zones.

4) Great hand/eye coordinator for Dougie Hamilton on the go ahead goal. Brad Marchand curled and sped toward the net and tried to feed a backhanded pass to the front of the net, but it ricocheted off a stick and bounced to Dougie Hamilton. The Bruins defenseman was able to get good wood on the bouncing puck and fling it past Budaj for his second career NHL goal. That, friends, is elite athleticism.

5) Career-high three assists for Brad Marchand tonight as he also doubled his season assist output from three to six. The Marchand/Seguin/Bergeron line has been awesome through two periods, which explains why Emelin had No. 19 in his sights.

*****

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Montreal Canadiens by a 4-3 score after the 60 minutes of heated rivalry play at TD Garden.

1) Guess missing Zdeno Chara for 17 minutes worth of penalties has its effect. Bruins gave up two goals in the third period after the B’s captain was slapped with the instigator penalty for standing up for one of his teammates. Still don’t mind the captain stepping up for the team’s best offensive player on a cheap shot/dirty hit from one of Montreal’s guys playing on the edge. Some things are more important than a simple two points – even during a shortened season – and protecting your players is one of them.

2) Some impressive scrappy players for Montreal: David Desharnais was all over the ice throughout the game and using his small body to screen the goaltender on Max Pacioretty’s game-tying goal in the third period. He finished with two goals and plus-3 after also delivering on a first period goal off the stick blade of Johnny Boychuk.

3) Guess Shawn Thornton wants to stay in the lineup. Four hits and three shots on net in 6:22 of ice time including one shift where he blasted both Alex Galchenyuk and P.K. Subban with hits in the third period.

4) So much for that Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly line being a real hit: a combined minus-6 with four shots on net and zero points though Kelly did hit a couple of posts early in the game.

5) Tough game for Andrew Ference as he was on the ice for a couple of goals against and was turning the puck over quite a bit with passes off the mark during the game. He was also in no mans land inside the net on the game-winning score for Davis Desharnais.