WINNIPEG Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes at the always loud MTS Centre.
1) Im not sure who this James Wright character is, but he dumped Zdeno Chara into the side boards with a hit from behind and then knocked Adam McQuaid off-balance with a hit in the defensive zone. You dont see that very often, but Ill go out on a limb and say hes pretty strong. He also zinged a shot wide of the net when he had a wide open look after a Mark Stuart point shot bounced off the end boards to him.
2) Only four Winnipeg players have shots on net in the first period including a pair of shot attempts from Nik Antropov. Bruins defense doing a good job of containing the Jets in the defensive zone thus far this afternoon.
3) Three of Bostons nine shots in the first period were from Nathan Horton, who looked like he was attempting to pick up the slack on that line with his power forward partner Milan Lucic out of the lineup. Every forward on the Bruins will need to step up, but a guy with size, strength and the ability to finish like Horton elevating his game becomes even more important.
4) Five blocked shots for Ron Hainsey in the first period. Hes certainly got a leg up on the Ice Bucket Award for this game when its all over. It must always be a thrill for a local guy like Hainsey to play against the Bruins after starring in Massachusetts and for UMass Lowell.
5) Three shifts and 2:04 of ice time for Jay Pandolfo in the first period. Nothing spectacular but certainly enough to get his feet wet as Claude Julien has been very selective with usage of his fourth line against a Winnipeg team that doesnt use their fourth line much at all.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while knowing that “Saturdays are for the boys” no longer exists once you are married with kids…except during glorious bachelor party weekends, which are few and far between.
*Congrats to Patrick Williams, who was named the Ellery Award winner for his great coverage of all things at the AHL level. Well deserved, Pat!
*A really moving, heartbreaking and also life-affirming tribute from Bobby Ryan to his recently-passed mother after his childhood experience really forged a bond.
*The Tyson Barrie/Colorado Avalanche arbitration case has a chance to get messy, and that may be a very good thing for teams hoping a D-man suddenly becomes available.
*Some great stories about the hockey movies made over the last 30 years including Sudden Death, Mystery Alaska and Slap Shot.
*Kudos to Gabriel Landeskog, who has joined an organization attempting to advise athletes on recovery from concussions after his scary experiences.
*The focus of P.K. Subban’s philanthropy is on the kids, a thing made abundantly clear by his generous pledge to raise $10 million from a Montreal children’s hospital.
*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper over at Yahoo! Sports on Murray Craven as a bit of an “Everything Man” for the new Las Vegas expansion franchise.
*For something completely different: what a great American and Patriot looks like, even if the Republicans and Trump don’t seem to think so.
Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible.
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions.
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota.
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations.
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan.
-- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues.
-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website.
-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often.
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network.