BruinsLeafs: 5 from the Second

BruinsLeafs: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comTORONTO Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 5-1 score after 40 minutes of action at Air Canada Centre.1)Bad times for Tim Thomas and the Bruins. He lets in two more goals in the second period including a pretty bad five-hole goal to Mike Brown and is yanked after allowing four goals on 14 shots. That means Thomas is 1-2-2 with a 3.00 goals against average and a .910 save percentage in five games during the month of March, and truthfully has looked incredibly ordinary since the All-Star break. Tuukka Rask may just become Bostons playoff goalie yet.2)Thomas appeared to be pretty miffed at getting pulled in the second period. He never took his mask off once on the bench after he was pulled and wouldnt look Claude Juliens way while he was sitting on the bench.3)David Krejci talked about the need for both he and Tomas Kaberle to shoot the puck a little more and give defenses something theyre not expecting, but they have only one shot between them after two periods of play.4)No fight from the Bruins, though it appeared that Zdeno Chara was jawing with Dion Phaneuf and looking for some fisticuffs midway through the second period. Like Keith Aulie early in the first period when he turned down Milan Lucic, the Leafs wouldnt engage the Bruins and none of the rest of the Boston players appear willing or ready to spark the team with a fight. Where has the life gone on this team? Really brutal effort from a team thats lost five of their last six games,5)One positive note: I like Tyler Seguin being used on the power play by Claude Julien. Seguin has the offensive goods to be effective, is playing well and is being misused if hes not playing on the man advantage.

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.