Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Washington Capitals locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of the final preseason game at TD Garden.
1) First things first: what a heavyweight fight between Milan Lucic and Joel Rechlicz. Lucic blasted Dane Byers with a hit near the penalty boxes, and Rechlicz went right after No. 17 looking to stand up for his teammate. Both players threw a ton of right-handed punches, and connected to the each other’s face with the big bombs. Rechlicz just kept throwing despite taking Lucic’s best to the chin, and never buckled in a fight that exhausted both players. Rechlicz appeared to get an extra two minutes for instigating a fight with a visor on.
2) Another early fight between Kevan Miller and Aaron Volpatti was a much quicker affair, but interestingly enough both players were also slapped with two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taking each other’s helmets off. Apparently that’s how the NHL is going to deal with the situation when players are trying to skirt around the new rule that they can’t take their own helmets off during fights.
3) Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith and Chris Kelly with three of Boston’s nine shots in the first period, and showing the kind of jump, offensive ability and gritty willingness to hunt the puck they displayed last weekend in Detroit. Ladies and gentlemen, I do believe you’re looking at the third line that will start the season for Boston.
4) The Bruins defense has now put together back-to-back impressive games. They limited the Detroit Red Wings to 18 shots at home on Saturday night, and they limited the Capitals to two shots on goal in that first period. The Caps didn’t suit up Alex Ovechkin or Nik Backstrom for this one, but it’s still certainly worth nothing.
5) Ryan Spooner has generated three shots in 5:17 of ice time, and is creating offensive chances no matter who he is playing with. He really looks like he’s ripening into an NHL player, and is going to make the decision very difficult for the Bruins when it comes to roster decisions over the next week or so. His speed during 4-on-4 play is the real deal, and he’s taking the puck to the net with fearlessness right now.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Washington Capitals locked in a 1-1 tie after the first 40 minutes of the final preseason game at TD Garden.
1) Bruins get another power play goal tonight, and this one is awarded to Zdeno Chara on a tip of a Dennis Seidenberg shot from the high point. That continues a solid stretch of power play production for the Black and Gold this preseason, and more proof that the Black and Gold are going to be much better on the man advantage this season. Chara camped in front of the net is a good look for the Bruins.
2) Seven shots generated by Ryan Spooner through two periods playing with Jordan Caron and Nick Johnson on his two wings. He just missed on a couple of scoring chances, but seems to generating offensive chances at will with his skating speed, hockey smarts and willingness to be dogged on the puck. It’s going to be difficult to keep him off this team.
3) Joel Rechlicz continues his rampage in the second period by jumping on Johnny Boychuk after a clean hit in the neutral zone. This time the Washington enforcer is slapped with a 10, 5 and 2 assortment of penalties for being the instigator, just as he was in the first period on Milan Lucic. It would appear the tough guy is trying to impress Caps management, and the Bruins are the unwitting bystanders.
4) Washington farmhand Garrett Mitchell has missed on all five shot attempts he’s taken for the Capitals. Wonder why he’s not in the NHL?
5) The Bruins have lost 19-of-31 face-offs through two periods. It makes a wee bit of difference when No. 37 isn’t in the lineup for the Bruins, doesn’t it?