Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of hockey at the Air Canada Centre.
1) A little bit of a defensive adventure for the Dennis Seidenberg/Torey Krug pairing in the first period. Had some trouble keeping the puck away from the middle of the ice in the offensive zone, and couldn’t clear things away leading to Peter Holland’s goal off the rebound of a Jake Gardiner shot. David Clarkson had camped in front of the net, and caused enough of a disturbance to allow Holland to sneak in for the goal.
2) Rare bad night in the face-off circle for the Bruins with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci having lost 7-of-10 face-offs in the opening stanza. Ryan Spooner is 0-for-3 on the face-offs, and that’s something he clearly still needs to work on at the NHL level.
3) Speaking of Spooner, he and Matt Fraser both had quiet first periods skating with Carl Soderberg. Spooner made some nice plays in what had to be a little bit of a nerve-wracking situation, but you’d expect the new P-Bruins guys to get better as the game goes along.
4) Dougie Hamilton took a skate or a hit to the back of the knee in the middle of the first period, looked like he was favoring it a bit and then headed to the dressing room before the period was over. With the Bruins already down Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk, another injury to a defenseman is exactly what the Black and Gold don’t need.
5) Four hits and two shots on net in 4:58 of ice time in the first period for Jordan Caron, who is clearly playing with a little extra energy. That’s a good thing because the B’s are going to need it playing the second of back-to-back games after last night’s ultra-emotional tilt.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Maple Leafs by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes at the Air Canada Centre.
1) Three unanswered goals from the Bruins, including a couple of power play strikes in an impressive showing.
2) Kevan Miller scored his first NHL goal on a right point shot immediately off a Carl Soderberg face-off win in the offensive zone, and continues his impressive quick transition from the AHL level. Miller did a good job freeing himself up for the shot and finding a shooting lane to get the puck past Jonathan Bernier, and is continuing to see his minutes go up with injuries all around the Black and Gold.
3) Very underrated job by Chad Johnson through the firs two periods. He stopped a pair of point blank Phil Kessel shots right after the Miller goal made it a 3-1 game, and that helped shut down the Toronto counter-punch for the rest of the middle 20 minutes.
4) Torey Krug with his eighth goal of the season on a point shot through a Zdeno Chara screen. That’s Krug’s eighth goal of the season, which once again puts him in the lead for goals among NHL blueliners. He also picked up his game defensive in the second period, which was much needed given the struggles in the first 20 minutes of him with partner Dennis Seidenberg.
5) Carl Soderberg with a goal and an assist in the middle 20 minutes to help revive the Bruins offense. Great dish by Reilly Smith to set up the Soderberg goal as those two continue to make plays even if they’ve been taken off a line together.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins raking the Maple Leafs by a 5-2 score after 60 minutes at the Air Canada Centre.
1) Kevan Miller got smoked from behind in the corner with a Dion Phaneuf hit to the back of the numbers late in the third period that sends the rugged, young defenseman back to the dressing room. He’s already had one concussion this season, and the Bruins can’t afford to lose him given their current defenseman situation.
2) Seriously bad defense by Carl Soderberg after losing a face-off to Jay McClement when he allows McClement to get by him and shoot at two rebounds in front of Chad Johnson before scoring. The B’s third line is very good offensively, but rough defensively.
3) Very solid game from Milan Lucic, who set up a big insurance goal in the third period when he crashed down the left wing drawing defenders and then fed Jarome Iginla coming straight down the middle of the ice. The puck bounced off Iginla’s skate and past Jonathan Bernier for his sixth goal of the season, and his first score in five games.
4) Wonder if Dennis Seidenberg will be getting a phone call for his hit to the head penalty in the corner that definitely merited a two-minute penalty, despite the protests from the local TV analysts. I suspect not, but it’s sometimes difficult to gauge what will strike their fancy.
5) Big four points this weekend vs. Penguins and Leafs with a very banged up roster of players.