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.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.