Seguin, Marchand erase early miscues

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Seguin, Marchand erase early miscues

UNIONDALE, NY Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand had stat lines as bare as the hair on their shaved heads entering the third period of Saturday afternoons tilt against the New York Islanders.

It was one of those one out of 82 kind of games between a team destined for good things in the playoffs, and a team full of players getting their golf attire ready for mid-April. Seguin had missed very high and incredibly wide open an open net at the end of the first period on a one-timer, and Marchand had been turned away by Al Montoya on a breakaway chance in a tight game.

Other than that both players had been eerily quiet against an Islanders bunch not known for their defense or goaltending prowess. But Seguin and Marchand showed theyre sharpening their mental toughness and raising their level of determination by detonating the Islanders with a four-goal barrage in the third period that led to a 6-3 victory at Nassau Coliseum.

Our guys did a great job in the third, said Claude Julien. They didnt sit there in the third period and kept going right at them to build up that lead.

It gave the proper ending for a Bruins-friendly crowd at Nassau Coliseum that audibly yelled Woo! at the end of every Bs score, and it also showed that Boston might just be ready to install Marchand, Seguin and Bergeron together as one of their forward lines when the playoffs get started.

Claude Julien liked the resolve that he saw out on the ice after Seguin had feebly registered one shot, two giveaways and one missed open net at the end of 40 minutes.

Thats what we need. Sometimes guys will hang on to those missed opportunities and it just drags them down, said Julien. But these guys today were determined and committed. When they missed the first chance to score, they came right back and they scored on the second and third chances.

With the Bruins and Islanders locked into a 2-2 tie entering the third period, it seemed that somebody finally found the power button on both Seguin and Marchand. The 20-year-old forward zipped through the Islanders defense while rushing down the right wing, and then found Marchand crashing the slot area. Marchand faked one defender and then lifted a shot over Montoya for his team-leading 27th goal of the season.

Seguin wasnt okay with Marchand leading the team in goals scored all by himself, so he notched his 27th goal of the year on a wrist shot from the outside of the left face-off circle that flat beat Montoya.

The Islanders got one back in the third period, but Marchand and Seguin were at it again while creating a goal for Patrice Bergeron this time as he crashed down on a loose puck in the slot area. When the ice chips had settled Seguin and Marchand both had three points in the third period, and the trio wasnt on ice for a single goal allowed to the Islanders.

Seguin freely admitted he wasnt overjoyed with his recent play and it seemed he was slipping into some bad habits in the corners and around the front of the net recently but he reversed that while finding his own personal turbo button in the third period.

I thought our line played a really solid period in the third. It was nice for us to finish strong in the third, said Seguin. I thought I played okay. In the last few games I felt like I hadnt been playing badly, but I felt like I hadnt been playing spectacularly either. This is the time of year when you want to get a little hot going into the playoffs, and as a team you want to get that consistency. Thats what were all striving for.

Seguin and Marchand have to hope it wont arrive in 20 minute bursts when playoff time arrives, but they have to know the Bruins will be counting heavily on those offensive outbursts once they hit the postseason. Both have an outside chance at 30 goals scored with four games left in the season, and theyll need to play like consistent 30-goal scorers once the real season begins in just a few short weeks.

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

The NHL Network is terrific. Its programming is the best of any of the four major sports leagues’ channels, its talent is outstanding and it shows a lot of cool games across various leagues.  

Players mess up though. 

In the network’s recently released ranking of the 40 best goaltenders of all time, the Bruins were well-represented, but so too was insanity. We’re talking Jonathan Quick in the top 20 (No. 16!), Marc-Andre Fleury top 25 (No. 21!) and Corey Crawford top 30 (No. 26!). Those are just a few of the head-scratchers. 

Tim Thomas was one of seven Bruins on the list, coming in at No. 27. Other Bruins ranked were Bernie Parent (No. 12), Frank Brimsek (No. 23), Rogie Vachon (No. 25), Tiny Thompson (No. 28), Gerry Cheevers (No. 29), Andy Moog (No. 36). Here's the full list, per Mark Lazerus. 

Statistically, Tuukka Rask deserves a place on this list if Fleury and Crawford are going to be that high, but we’ll save the Rask arguments for literally every other second of my life. 

[OK, real quick: Rask has the highest career save percentage of all time. Quick sits No. 17 and Fleury is 32nd. This doesn’t need to be completely statistics based, but it also shouldn’t be completely how-many-Cup-teams-were-on-based. Honestly, I can’t tell what this list is based on at all. Like Cristobal Huet had a better career save percentage than Fleury has.]

Anyway, everyone else hated the list, too.