Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and the Dallas Stars locked in a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes in Tyler Seguin’s first game back in Boston at TD Garden.
1) Boos for Tyler Seguin when he was introduced, and each time he touched the puck here in Boston. It seems a little unnecessary given the Cup that Seguin helped the Bruins capture three years ago, but it’s pretty clear the fan base blames him, in part, for not doing more to help them win another win last spring. Bruins don’t forget soft play, or ridiculously skilled players that can’t do better than one goal in 22 playoff games.
2) Jamie Benn has befriended Tyler Seguin in Dallas, and is playing like he’s sticking up for his friend in Boston. He scored the team’s only goal with a nifty shot that beat Tuukka Rask, was a perfect 4-for-4 on face-offs and drew a penalty on Adam McQuaid when the two players were going back and forth in the middle of the period. He was the best player on the ice for either team in the first 20 minutes.
3) The B’s third line was reunited with Reilly Smith joining Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg, and they produced Boston’s only goal for a team that badly needs some secondary scoring. The Smith assist to Torey Krug wipes out a stretch of just one point in his last five games.
4) Torey Krug with five goals in 14 games after gaining another by attacking the backdoor. He is going to get serious Calder Trophy consideration when this year is over.
5) Johnny Boychuk delivered a booming clean hit to Erik Cole, got up and then smoked Vern Fiddler when he tried to jump him in defense of Cole. Boychuk putting on a show, and letting everybody know that his back feels pretty good after missing this weekend’s tilt on Long Island.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and the Dallas Stars locked in a 1-1 tie after the first 40 minutes in Tyler Seguin’s first game back in Boston at TD Garden.
1) Pretty good couple of periods for Valeri Nichuskin, with a team-high four shots on net and three registered hits. It will be interesting to see what happens with this Dallas Stars team given some of the young pieces and the offensive capabilities of the players brought together. I’m still not sure they’re a playoff team, but I’m impressed with Nichuskin on first blush.
2) One shot on net and 3-of-5 face-offs for Tyler Seguin. Really not much of a factor in this one at all. Shades of last year’s playoffs perhaps?
3) The Bruins have taken the foot off the gas pedal from about the halfway mark of the first period, and they were outshot 13-4 in the middle 20 minutes. Sloppy turnovers slowing things down for Boston, and speeding things up for the Stars.
4) Jamie Benn really involved physically. Cross-checked Adam McQuaid until he drew a roughing penalty in the first period, and he went nose-to-nose with Zdeno Chara after jabbing at Tuukka Rask on a frozen puck in the second period. He also threw a hit on Milan Lucic near the defensive blue line. Looks like he’s playing the game that his partner-in-crime, Seguin, isn’t capable of against his former team.
5) Most involved game in a while for Brad Marchand, who nearly missed on a 2-on-1 with a high glove side shot midway through the second, and set up David Krejci for a wide open bid in the slot on the next trip down the ice. Kari Lehtonen made the stop on a shot Krejci would have loved to have back, but it’s a promising sign from the Nose Face Killah. One has to wonder if it’s the presence of his buddy Tyler Seguin, or the new “Mar-SHAND” pronunciation of his name that’s got things moving for him.