BruinsRed Wings: 5 from the Second

BruinsRed Wings: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comDETROIT Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Red Wings by a 3-2 score at Joe Louis Arena after the first 40 minutes of intense play in Motor City.1)As you would expect, Mark Stuart has played physical hockey in his return to the lineup and is breathing the kind of fire one would expect after sitting out in eight straight games as a healthy scratch. He was mean with a nasty streak in the first period and threw a big hit at the end of the second period, but theres only so much a guy like Stuart can do playing 14-16 minutes per night. 2)Tim Thomas is standing on his head blocking out the barrage of shots coming his way after the Bruins lost their snarl in the second period and were outshot 19-5 in the middle 20 minutes. Its gotten bad enough that Thomas has practically become a third defensemen in front of the Boston net clearing loose pucks away from the front of the net as the Bs defensemen are getting tied up with guys like Kris Draper, Daniel Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom plopped in front of the net. 3)Where is Milan Lucic? One shot on net, no hits and hes been a complete non-factor in a finesse, skill track meet against the Detroit Red Wings. Hes had a couple of chances to finish Wings skaters off and he hasnt done that, and this is the kind of game they need something for No. 17.4)You have to live with some rookie mistakes out of Tyler Seguin, and thats what happened when he didnt rotate defensively to cover for Dennis Seidenberg to take out Kris Draper. Instead Draper got behind Seguin in the neutral zone breakdown, and beat Thomas blocker side high with a shot in all alone.5)Adam McQuaid looked like he banged up his right hand blocking a shot at the end of the second period. The Bruins need McQuaid and the rest of the Bs to toughen up and get a little more physical as they did in the first period. Theyre getting lulled into the finesse, skill game by the Wings, and theyll lost that battle every time. A dreadful second period with no physicality by the Bs. Another one like that and the Bs will lose this game for a certainty.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.