Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins locked in a 2-2 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Once again the Bruins are outshooting their opponent by a healthy margin, but aren’t leading the hockey game. The Bruins scored a pair of goals in the first period, but then allowed the Maple Leafs to tie it up less than three minutes later in both instances. That’s not the kind of staunch defense one expects from a Bruins team that takes things like that “carrying the play” and “holding momentum” seriously. Just too many leaks on the defensive end, and the rebound allowed on the first Toronto goal wasn’t a good one from Rask for a shot that came from the blue line. Boychuk was standing still on the PK that led to the JVR cross-ice pass to Bozak for Toronto’s second goal, and is the ninth PP goal allowed by the Bruins in the eight games since Dennis Seidenberg went down with his knee injury.
2) Incidentally, it appears the refs might have blown the call on that first Toronto goal as the puck had crossed past the blue line into the neutral zone before Carl Gunnarson ripped the one-timer, with his foot on the line. The rebound went right to Tyler Bozak, who ripped the rebound past Tuukka Rask’s glove hand.
3) The Patrice Bergeron line responded in a big way in the first period after the B’s top two lines were kept out of the scoresheet during the California trip. They only had four of the 15 shots on net for the Bruins, but dominated puck possession and produced both of the goals. The Marchand rebound goal was the result, but a nice dangling play through three Toronto defenders set things up for the Nose Face Killah. Then Bergeron scored the second goal on a pure hustle collecting a wide shot attempt off the end boards, and stuffing it through Jonathan Bernier’s pads.
4) Three shots on net and two goals for Tyler Bozak, who is riding a serious hot streak for the Toronto center. He is also 4-for-12 in the face-off circle, so it hasn’t been all perfect. But he’s been red-hot for the Leafs since returning right before the Winter Classic.
5) One shot on net for Jarome Iginla was the only offense mustered by Iginla, David Krejci and Milan Lucic. They need to start putting their foot on the gas pedal a little more.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing by a 3-2 score to the Toronto Maple Leafs after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) The Bruins have allowed 9 power play goals in 27 PK opportunities in the eight games since Dennis Seidenberg went down. That’s a cool 67 percent success rate, and that’s not good enough. Even when the Bruins killed off a Toronto PP in the second period, the Leafs dominated with possession in the B’s zone. The Bruins could only clear it once, and relied heavily on Tuukka Rask to make some big saves.
2) The first two goals allowed by the Bruins weren’t on Tuukka Rask, but he needs to stop a Jake Gardiner wrist shot from the right face-off dot that beat the B’s goalie high on the glove side. If that turns out to be the game-winning score, then that’s on Rask as he continues to search for some consistency.
3) Phil Kessel has assisted on all three of Toronto’s goals tonight, and is having a quietly effective game for the Leafs without many shots on net.
4) Bruins are now 0-for-15 on the power play, and are starting to shuffle things up. No shots on goal on either of the PP’s for the Black and Gold, but they’ve put Zdeno Chara on the point of the Bergeron unit in place of the injured Dougie Hamilton. That means Ryan Spooner is on the top unit with Torey Krug, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla.
5) Speaking Ryan Spooner, he’s struggling a bit tonight. No shots on goal and 0-for-4 on face-offs with a holding penalty in the offensive zone and an inability to use those soft hands to collect a stretch pass from Torey Krug that would have been a breakaway goal for the Bruins. Speaking of breakaways, the Bruins have had four chances at odd man rushes/breakaways handed to them by a generous Toronto defense, and they haven’t been able to cash in on them. Too pass-happy on the 2-on-1’s, Jonathan Bernier stuffed Jarome Iginla in the first period and Spooner fumbled away the puck on his chance after hopping off the Bruins bench.