Boston Bruins

Bruins lose first of the season to Rangers in OT, 4-3


Bruins lose first of the season to Rangers in OT, 4-3

NEW YORK The Rangers were challenged to show some desperation and mental toughness in their rematch against the Bruins, and they did just that in another hotly contested, tight game between the two Eastern Conference titans.
The Bruins dropped back early after allowing a pair of goals in the first period, and never truly had a grasp in a contest they eventually dropped by a 4-3 overtime score at Madison Square Garden for their first loss of the season.
Nathan Horton had fired home a third period goal to tie things at 3-3 and push it into overtime, but a Marian Gaborik breakaway happened in the opening seconds of overtime when Andrew Ference couldnt handle a bouncing puck at the blue line. Gaborik snapped home the rebound after Tuukka Rask made initial save, and finished with a hat trick in the victory.
Early on, New Yorks super forward line of Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Brad Richards did all the damage for the Rangers: a designed play by New York led to a Nash and Gaborik two-on-1 where the smaller, skilled Gaborik buried a shot under the crossbar. Rangers head coach John Tortorella then double-shifted that line to get them on the ice without Zdeno Chara, and Gaborik managed to snap in a rebound goal with Dougie Hamilton far out of defensive position away from the net.
The Bruins fought back with a Hamilton-to-Brad Marchand connection on the power play that snapped an 0-for-11 streak to start the season. The Hamilton assist was the first point of his NHL career. Milan Lucic followed with a beastly score after he kept attacking rebounds in front of the New York net, and finally backhanded one home to tie things up at 2-2.
The deadlock lasted less than a minute before the Rangers once again grabbed the one-goal lead on a Taylor Pyatt strike, and it stayed that way until Hortons third period strike.
GOLD STAR: The rare plaudit for a non-Bruins player, but Marian Gaborik deserved plenty of credit for the overtime win against the Bruins. He capped off the hat trick with the overtime game-winner and, along with Rick Nash, had a game-high six shots on net in the victory. His game-breaking speed led to the first goal to open the game and put the Bruins on their heels, and the overtime game-winner when Andrew Ference couldnt handle a bouncing puck at the blue line. The ridiculously talented line of Marian GaborikRick NashBrad Richards certainly made their best case to stick together for a while after John Tortorella put them together for tonights big tilt.BLACK EYE: The fourth line give and the fourth line take away. After playing a big role in the opening night win over the Rangers, the Bruins energy line had a tough night against the Blueshirts. Gregory Campbell did manage to pick up an assist on Nathan Hortons goal, but Shawn Thornton finished with 4:13 of ice time and didnt play another shift after a failed clearing attempt led to Taylor Pyatts goal in the second period. Along with providing energy, the fourth line has to keep the puck out of the back of the net when theyre on the ice in order to effective.HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask gave up four goals, but actually might have been one of the best Bruins on the ice in a pretty entertaining, quality game. The first two goals allowed by the Bruins goaltender were pretty clear defensive breakdowns one of them a nice designed play with a good chip from Brad Richards and the Finnish netminder came up with a one-two combo save on Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik in the last minute of regulation that preserved the overtime point. Those are the kinds of saves that a No. 1 goaltender makes, and Rask has been up to the task early in the season.TURNING POINT: For the Bruins it arrived in the first period after theyd already taken the best few punches at the Rangers could deliver, and were down by a 1-0 score. With less than three minutes to go in the period where the Bruins had looked shaky and maybe even a little rattled, Adam McQuaid lost it when Brian Boyle shot a puck at his legs after the Rangers center had been whistled off-sides. So McQuaid went right after Boyle and landed a few heavy rights to his face as the former Boston College forward tried to hold the rugged defense away from him. The Bs defensemans teammates credited that with helping spark the comeback that ensued in the following two periods.BY THE NUMBERS: 1 the number of career NHL points for 19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton after he collected his first assist on Brad Marchands power play goal in the second period. There will be many more of those to come.QUOTE TO NOTE: We thought we were ready to play but I guess we werent. But we came back and showed that we can come back. It was a really good game by us after the first period. Nathan Horton, on the Bs willingness to scratch back after being down 2-0 early to the Rangers in their barn.

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers


Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined. 


*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful. 


*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek. 


*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season. 


*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens. 


*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat. 


*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job. 


*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs. 

Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality


Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that we’re just now learning about the massive rap skills of the brotherly duo of Andrew and Pete Frates. 


*Ken Campbell from the Hockey News says that if influential players, like Connor McDavid, want to go to the Olympics then they need to get more involved in the CBA negotiations


*Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shows what a class act he is by taking the Stanley Cup to a children’s hospital in Montreal.


*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Minnesota Wild looking to find long term deals for both restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. That was pretty clear when they chose to deal off Marco Scandella in order to clear up some cap space to afford both of them. 


*The Edmonton Oilers are going to face higher expectations for next season, and are willing to embrace that kind of pressure.


*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance wonders aloud whether there will be any offer sheets coming for restricted free agents. I appreciate Craig wanting to add a little more intrigue to the NHL’s offseason, but it isn’t going to happen as long as GMs are treated like they have small pox once they go that route with an offer sheet. Take a look at the future job prospects for general managers that went with offer sheets in the past, and you’ll see why GMs simply don’t do them. This is why the Bruins are uncomfortable with David Pastrnak sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent, but not overly concerned that he’s going to sign a mega-offer sheet elsewhere.  


*The CCM hockey brand is apparently changing hands from its former home at Adidas


*For something completely different: Speaking of Pete Frates, MLB has announced a fundraising drive for ALS research in his name.