BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Montreal Canadiens by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at TD Garden.
1) It looks like both teams were looking to make a statement in this final game of the regular season between the arch-rivals before a likely playoff match. Costly sequence for the Canadiens as Dale Wiese lost his balance while going into the corner with Kevan Miller for a puck, and appeared to hurt himself on the heavy impact with the boards. Travis Moen then challenged Miller following the play, and Miller dropped Moen with one punch before dropping him again at the end of the fight with a strong right hand. Both Moen and Wiese ended up needing help off the ice, and never returned from the dressing room. Montreal really seems to be paying for going with a “light” lineup without George Parros and Ryan White.
2) Kevan Miller is one big, bad dude. I’ve been saying for a while that he’s already won the gig as Adam McQuaid’s replacement, and he continues to manhandle teams with his jarring hits and ability to throw down with his fists. He’s the perfect Bruins-type of player.
3) Somehow the Bruins are trailing despite dominating the first period during 5-on-5 play, and outshooting the Habs by a 10-5 margin. The only goal is an Alexei Emelin power play point shot that deflected off Chris Kelly before rocketing past Tuukka Rask for the score. Will be interesting to see if the Bruins can keep up that pace for three periods given their recent heavy travel schedule.
4) Three shots on net for an incredibly active first period for David Krejci, who had a beautiful move through Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk to create his own shot in the slot and was also battling big time with Andrei Markov in front of the Montreal net. You can tell Krejci wants this one pretty badly.
5) I really do enjoy watching Alexei Emelin play, and it shows you something when the Montreal defenseman goes right back after Milan Lucic in the first few minutes of first period. He dropped him with a hip check at center ice that was clearly designed after Lucic crushed him repeatedly in the B’s win over Montreal at the Bell Centre two weeks ago.
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Montreal Canadiens by a 1-0 score after the first 40 minutes of play at TD Garden.
1) Bruins dominating five-on-five play in shots at a 19-5 margin, and are theoretically trying to stay out of a special teams battle with the Canadiens. But that’s now what is happening. PK Subban induced Johnny Boychuk into taking a penalty while horse-collaring him after the B’s defenseman got hit in the back of the head while down on the ice. This is exactly why Montreal is a bad matchup for the Bruins: they get Boston frustrated like no other team does, and does it on a regular basis. It’s happening again tonight, and PK Subban is at the heart of it. Montreal people trying to say that Boychuk went after Subban’s knee to start the whole sequence, but that’s garbage. He was trying to throw a hip check just like the one Alexei Emelin threw on Milan Lucic in the first period.
2) On first blush I thought a Mike Weaver hit on Daniel Paille was dirty when the B’s forward didn’t see it coming, but a good replay showed Paille with his head down and Weaver hitting the shoulder at the initial point of contact. The finish came up high, but that was a good hockey hit. So I take it all back from twitter.
3) Peter Budaj dominating for the Habs. Twenty one saves including a nasty glove save on a Milan Lucic shot from the doorstep midway through the second period. The Bruins have had the bulk of the great offensive chances tonight, but haven’t been able to cash in.
4) Five power plays for Montreal and one for the Bruins through two periods. Typical Montreal.
5) Torey Krug looks hesitant to unleash his slap shot from the point on the power play. He’s only shooting with the wrist shot from the point. Wonder if something is going on there.