Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins - Maple Leafs

Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins - Maple Leafs
March 25, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.

1) Milan Lucic turns the puck over during the power play, exits the ice and disgustedly slams the bench door four times as he leaves the frozen sheet. Looks like No. 17 is still mired in the middle of it right now.

2) Rich Peverley had a good bid from the left circle at the beginning of the power play possession, but the Bruins are now 0-for-10 on the power play as they continue to look for answers to the special teams’ questions. It looks like the B’s PP is going to run hot and cold all season.

3) Dion Phaneuf has been way better defensively in the last two games against the Bruins after looking like he was stuck in a torture chamber for most of the last two seasons against Boston. Three hits for Phaneuf in the first period and doing a good job keeping Boston’s big guns off the board.

4) We saw one flash of the old Milan Lucic when he bombed down the slot and fired a shot at the net James Reimer was forced to make a nice shoulder save on. No. 17 needs to be more aggressive with his straight-ahead offense and in-your-face physicality, and he’ll finally snap this 15 game goalless stretch.

5) Bruins new lines looked okay, but like they’re all getting on the same page with each other. Will be interesting to see if they can build up some chemistry as the game moves on here. Peverley, Lucic and Paille with the best chances for Boston in the first period.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Maple Leafs tied at a 2-2 score after 60 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1)    Dougie Hamilton had his first point in 11 games, and really snapped out of some recent rookie doldrums with a strong performance against the Leafs. He jumped up in the offensive zone to fore-check and set up Patrice Bergeron’s goal by beating Jake Gardiner to a loose puck. He has also played with some snarl, and showed the nastiness in a shoving match with Clarke MacArthur in the corner. The two exchanged pushes and shoves until Dougie finally dumped the Leafs veteran to the ice to the roar of crowd approval.
2)    I wrote about Dion Phaneuf playing solidly in the first two periods. Then he let Patrice Bergeron get to the net unmolested in the third period for the game-tying goal. Just the law of averages there for a very average defender.
3)    A solid 15:14 of ice time for Matt Bartkowski tonight. Had a shot on net and a couple of hits and didn’t make any mistakes that truly hurt the Bruins while taking close to a regular turn. Good step in the right direction for him.
4)    Lucic, Krejci and Horton go back together for good in the third period, and Claude Julien returns all of the lines to their normal composition.
5)    The Leafs have blocked 25 shots tonight. The Bruins have blocked seven. That’s a pretty big discrepancy, and speaks to Boston still shooting from the outside quite a bit.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Maple Leafs by a 2-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden.

1) Daniel Paille playing like a mad man. A game-high five shots on net and had some of the best chances for the Bruins through the first two periods, including a sweeping shot around a defender while on the penalty kill. James Reimer made the save on that as well as his four other bids, but Paille showing some extra jump playing with skill players. He’s having an overachieving season and – in my humble opinion – deserves the Bruins 7th Player Award this season.

2) Milan Lucic finally breaks through after going 15 games without a goal. He’s had a couple of shots on net and has attempted four chances altogether. On both his shots he was moving his feet to gather momentum going into the offensive zone: Reimer was forced to make a good shoulder save on the first attempt and he snuck a puck through the five hole on the second chance. He’s still not bringing the lumber physically, but he did have one moment where he stood Mike Kostka up in the neutral zone in the second period as well. Baby steps for No. 17.

3) Claude Julien ended the second period with Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic and David Krejci all back together again. They had a good, energetic shift including a chance for Horton in front with a loose puck as bodies were flying all around the net, but for the second straight game Horton couldn’t settle the puck and get a quality chance with the top of the net open for business.

4) No shots on net in 11:16 of ice time for Tyler Seguin. He’s attempted a couple, but he’s not getting consistent pressure in the offensive zone.

5) A horrendous defensive brain fart by Aaron Johnson and Andrew Ference leads to Toronto’s second goal. They allowed Nikolai Kulemin to get behind them, Nazem Kadri found him with a good stretch pass and he roofed it over Tuukka Rask on the breakaway. Was part of a rough night for Johnson, who took an interference penalty and missed way high with a shot from the slot as a trailer during a key sequence after Lucic’s goal when he could have tied things up. The Leafs scored their first goal, a power play strike, with Johnson in the box. Defensive depth is starting to get tested for Boston with the injuries.