BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the First

BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Leafs locked in a 1-1 tie at the TD Garden after the first 20 minutes of a game thats taken a back seat to the trade rumor mill.1)Isnt ironic and perhaps a little bit of hockey justice that Daniel Paille scores the goal for Boston in his first game from a four-game suspension after his high blow to the head on Raymond Sawada. The goal was created by an excellent pinch from Mark Stuart behind the net as he got involved on the fore-check and worked the puck around the boards Paille. The Bs winger flipped the puck off Mike Komisarek in front of the net and it got right past James Reimer.2)It had to happen eventually, and now Phil Kessel has his first goal against his former team after batting a puck out of the air following a Dion Phaneuf shot from the high slot area. That is Kessels first goal in 10 games against the Bruins, and it prompted ample booing from the TD Garden sellout crowd right after it took place. It also snapped a 14-game scoring drought for Kessel while having some major difficult with the Maple Leafs after basically throwing his coach under the bus last week.3)Three shots on net for Milan Lucic, who was a force in the first period and seems to have rebounded strongly from a poor game against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.4)Got to love that the Merlot line has kicked in offensive for the Bruins. Thats always bodes well for the eventual outcome.5)Johnny Boychuk has been going through a bit of a rough patch for the Bruins, so its not surprising that the defenseman was made a healthy scratch for the Leafs. The effort level and toughness have been there, but hes not making quick enough decisions with the puck. That combined with Steve Kampfers offensive abilities made Boychuk the natural choice.

Matt Beleskey a healthy scratch tonight vs. San Jose

bruins_matt_beleskey_102616.jpg

Matt Beleskey a healthy scratch tonight vs. San Jose

The Bruins are ready to give it their best crack coming out of the NHL’s five day bye despite some evidence that it’s not going to be easy on Sunday night.

Teams in their first game back from the five day vacation were sporting a 3-10-3 record entering Sunday’s action, and the coast-to-coast flight from Boston to San Jose for a date with the Sharks wasn’t likely to do them any favors. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t make any mystery of his Sunday night lineup against the Sharks, and will scratch hard-nosed left winger Matt Beleskey along with Joe Morrow and John-Michael Liles. Beleskey was healthy scratched from last weekend’s win against Vancouver as well, and had no points along with a minus-1 rating in the two games he played under Cassidy ahead of the five day break.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Sharks on Sunday night according to the Boston Bruins twitter feed:  

 

Marchand-Bergeron-Backes

Cehlarik-Krejci-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes

Schaller-Moore-Nash

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

 

Rask 

Morning Skate: Brian Boyle embroiled in trade rumors

Morning Skate: Brian Boyle embroiled in trade rumors

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while enjoying Hockey Day in America. 

*Brian Boyle is the subject of trade rumors with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he wants to stay a member of the Bolts. 

*Watch out for the Florida Panthers, who swept the road trip through California and are now back in playoff position for the first time in a long time. 

*It’s great to see play-by-play man Dave Strader back in the broadcast booth doing what he does best after his cancer diagnosis. 

*Hats off to the Bruins ECHL affiliate, the Atlanta Gladiators, for the sweet-looking Boba Fett sweaters worn during this weekend’s Star Wars night. 

*It’s pretty amazing when you’re an NHL player and a former first round pick, and you’re the one most known for being somebody else’s brother. That’s life for Dallas Stars D-man Jamie Oleksiak. 

*Interesting piece about sportswriting, politics and a couple of worlds that were destined to collide at some point. 

*For something completely different: For the 40h anniversary of Star Wars, the toys are being used to recreate classic movie scenes.