Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the New York Rangers by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden during the Thanksgiving Showdown.
1) It took two months into the season, but it looks like the Bruins finally found Tuukka Rask’s point of fatigue. After leaving him in for the full 60 minutes of the debacle against the Red Wings, he is looking a little sluggish reacting to pucks on Friday afternoon. He was off his angle on the Rick Nash goal that beat him to the far post, and then couldn’t track the Ryan McDonagh goal from the high point. It’s a good thing Chad Johnson will get the start on Saturday vs. the Blue Jackets because Rask looks like he could use a rest. I still think the B’s coaching staff should have pulled him for the third period of the one-sided loss to the Wings in order to help charge up his batteries a little bit.
2) Nice finish for Brad Marchand on the Boston goal. He fired off a one-timer after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Zdeno Chara for his first goal in 10 games, and his fourth goal of the season in Boston’s 26th game. The Bruins need more production from their big dogs offensively, and Marchand has certainly answered the call today emotionally and offensively. He was also getting in the face of the Rangers players prior to scoring that goal.
3) Two shots in 5:03 of ice time and 4-of-6 face-off wins for Patrice Bergeron, including a couple of great offensive chances in the first 20 minutes. He looks like he’s about to break through after going pointless in the last six games.
4) Impressive goal by Rick Nash, who powered through Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron before pushing a puck past Tuukka Rask at the far post. That was a power forward in Beast Mode going through Boston’s best two defensive players. As physically overpowering a goal as you’re going to see, and much better than this schoolyard bully act with Torey Krug earlier in the period. He threw a casual elbow at the 5-foot-8 B’s defenseman before Adam McQuaid came to his D- partner’s defense.
5) Zdeno Chara looking pretty good in the offensive zone, but having trouble containing Rangers players in the defensive zone. He looks like he’s having a lot of trouble getting his body to react quickly enough when opponents go right at him with the attack. Mats Zuccarrello went right by him in the first period, and he couldn’t contain Nash on his curl-and-drag move.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the New York Rangers by a 2-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden during the Thanksgiving Showdown.
1) Better period for the Bruins in the middle 20 minutes, but they couldn’t get anything past Henrik Lundqvist. King Henrik looking pretty good today while turning away Johnny Boychuk rebound and Milan Lucic follow-up, and then standing tall on Lucic rush as he crashed toward the net. The Bruins have definitely seen this version of Lundqvist before.
2) A fight between the two biggest guys on the ice in the second period as Zdeno Chara tangled with Brian Boyle. Chara came to the defense of David Krejci after Boyle went after him following a shove from behind in front of the net, and it turned into a half-hearted fight for the 6-foot-7 Boyle against the 6-foot-9 Chara. Predictably Chara threw a beating on the Hingham native with a couple of hard right handed punches to his head.
3) Milan Lucic definitely out of his mini-funk today. Leads the team with four shots on net, and has been a physical presence throughout the game for the Black and Gold. Iginla has attempted five shots, but hasn’t been able to get one through to the net yet today.
4) Chris Kelly leading the Bruins with four hits today. Playing the body a bit more than usual while centering Carl Soderberg and Reilly Smith.
5) I like the game of young Rangers defenseman Justin Falk, who is a rugged, physical guy and caught Milan Lucic with a big hit in the first period that appeared to cut him open in the nose area. Definitely somebody that’s been a factor on the ice for New York in just 10 minutes of ice time.