BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Leafs tied at 1-1 apiece after the first 20 minutes of Game 7 at TD Garden with the winner advancing to face the winner of Capitals/Rangers.
1) Another period and another Bruins defenseman goes down with an injury. It appeared Dennis Seidenberg injured a leg on the first shift of the game, and finished with only 37 seconds on two shifts for the entire game. He spent the rest of the period on the bench, and got up periodically, but never returned to the game. That’s a huge blow if a minutes horse like Seidenberg can’t return to action for the Bruins.
2) Bruins showed exactly what they can do if they have the jump. Pressured Cody Franson into a careless blind pass between his legs that went right to Matt Bartkowski, and the rookie blueliner fired through traffic to give Boston a quick lead. Bartkowski, one of the recipients of more playing time with Dennis Seidenberg out of the lineup, has looked pretty good in the first 20 minutes using his skating speed to navigate through trouble.
3) Bruins getting way too preoccupied with James van Riemsdyk in front of the net. He attracted the attention of both Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in Game 6 while allowing Phil Kessel to swoop in for a rebound score, and it happened again tonight with three Bruins defenders attacking JVR while Cody Franson cleaned up a rebound in front for Toronto’s score. It was the third chance shot for the Leafs in a poor attempt to clear the puck away on a Leafs power play.
4) Claude Julien finally switching out Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr on the lines. Jagr actually looked like a pretty good fit creating plays with Patrice Bergeron, but Seguin still looks pretty lost skating around with Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly on the third line.
5) Shot attempts from Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Jaromir Jagr and Matt Bartkowski, and that’s it. More Bruins need to get involved offensively, but Brad Marchand does look a little more engaged in this Game 7 than he was in the last two contests.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Leafs by a 2-1 after the first 40 minutes of Game 7 at TD Garden with the winner advancing to face the winner of Capitals/Rangers.
1) No shots on goal for Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand through two periods of play. They’re just not fighting to get to the net hard enough, and can’t force the Toronto defense into the kind of mistakes that will open things up for them. Meanwhile Chara and Patrice Bergeron playing big minutes and leaving it all on the ice. They need more of their teammates to do the same in the final 20 minutes.
2) Bruins raising the nasty in the second period. Milan Lucic and Dion Phaneuf squaring off behind the Toronto net, Chris Kelly bloodying James van Riemsdyk during one exchange around the net, and plenty of Bruins heavily playing the body on the Maple Leafs. Bruins doing what they can to get the equalizer, but it’s not coming easily for them.
3) Bruins get a power play at the end of the second period on a borderline call. First PP unit is awful and can’t keep the puck in the zone, and the second PP unit won’t shoot the puck. Dougie Hamilton looking uncomfortable and unsure of himself in this heightened level of hockey. It’s not surprising, but will make him a better player in the long run.
4) Matt Bartkowski with 14:15 of ice time through two periods. He’s playing a hell of a game absorbing minutes with Dennis Seidenberg unable to go, and is one of the few Bruins skaters that seems like he’s got his good legs in this game.
5) Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic both screening Tuukka Rask on Cody Franson’s go-ahead goal to the point where he never even saw it coming. Lucic needs to block that shot if he’s going to venture that far out and partially screen the goaltender trying to track the puck.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Maple Leafs tied at 4-4 and headed to overtime in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs at TD Garden.
1) Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara combined for two goals with the goalie pulled in 31 seconds to push things into overtime when it looked like it was all over down three goals in the third period. Franchise players and leaders that simply wouldn't allow their team to go into that good night.
2) No shots for Tyler Seguin and three shots for Brad Marchand through three periods. But Seguin missing high and wide with everything, and Marchand still looks very slow. Is it possible they'll decide to really show up in overtime?
3) Huge save for Tuukka Rask on Matt Frattin breakaway earlier in the third period that kept Toronto at four goals.
4) Bruins need to end it quickly without Dennis Seidenberg in the fold for the entire game. Not sure how they did this without Seidenberg, Andrew Ference or Wade Redden healthy enough to play.
5) Classic battle between speedy Leafs and big, strong Bruins who turned it into a half-ice battle once the goalie was pulled. Who will take it in overtime? Really looks like the Maple Leafs are finally showing their first time playoff status when it came time to close.