Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

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Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow@hackswithhaggs
VANCOUVER Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Vancouver Canucks by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of Game 7.1)Bruins fourth line didnt score a goal in that first period, but they did drag a nervous, skittish Bruins team into the game with a series of crash and bang shifts that rocked the Canucks. Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille were all playing in Vancouvers face and accounted for three of the five shots on net for Boston in the first period. The Bs fourth line brought it and overwhelmed Vancouver with their depth, but the B's need more than that from everybody else among the forward groups.2)Bruins are 11-1 in these playoffs when they score first, and they stunned the Canucks with a quick strike off of a face-off. Patrice Bergeron was Bostons best forward outside the fourth line in the first 20 minutes and was rewarded. He won the face-off and Brad Marchand got the puck and danced around Sami Salo in the corner. Marchand fired a perfect pass to Bergeron through a mass of people in front of the net, and Bergeron fired before Roberto Luongo was able to pick up the puck on the ice. A perfectly executed play in a game that requires flawless execution.3)No penalties for the first period with Stephen Walkom and Dan OHalloran refereeing the game tonight. Youll remember them as the refs from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final where not a single penalty was called. In one case, Chris Higgins jumped up and hit Zdeno Chara from the side near the Bs blue line far away from the puck, and the refs didnt call it. Looks like it might be another repeat of the 5-on-5 extravaganza from Game 7 of Boston-Tampa.4)Five shots by the Bruins is not enough pressure on Luongo. The Bruins looked nervous early and once again didnt start playing their physical, punishing style until a couple of pounding shifts by Shawn Thornton and Patrice Bergeron woke the rest of the team up. They'll need much more physicality moving forward.5)Five hits from Milan Lucic in 4:29 of ice time in the first period. Big No. 17 needs to keep up the physical pounding and get a little closer to the net.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

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Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.  

 

Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

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Spooner, Bruins nearly $2 million apart in arbitration figures

The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two.

Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row.

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Spooner is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.95 million and his is a complicated situation for the Black and Gold. Spooner holds significant value as a trade piece and has been an important part of a very effective power play, but he also finished the playoffs as a healthy scratch after going quietly the past few months of the season.

Spooner was one of the major pieces discussed in trade talks with the Minnesota Wild around the draft prior to the Wild shipping Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and he's been involved in trade discussions with several teams the past couple of years.

The Bruins have prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson waiting in the wings if/when the B’s decided to spin Spooner to another team, but they also enjoy his speed and playmaking when he’s on his game. There’s clearly a scenario where the Bruins start the season with Spooner installed as their third-line center and perhaps explore more trade discussions while seeing if a full season under Bruce Cassidy can unlock his significant offensive potential.

If that's still in the plan, they’d be wise to come to an agreement and avoid the hearing Wednesday where they’d ostensibly be bad-mouthing a player they’d want back on their team. The Bruins have the right to walk away from Spooner should he be awarded the full $3.85 million by the arbiter. Still, it’s hard to believe they’d do that given that he’s a homegrown asset with trade value.

The feeling at this address is that there’s a deal to be made between the two sides for something around the $3 million mark. That’s something that would be worthwhile for the Bruins if they have any designs on continuing on with Spooner.