Fifteen Thoughts: Bruins-Red Wings

Fifteen Thoughts: Bruins-Red Wings
October 5, 2013, 7:45 pm
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Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Detroit Red Wings locked in a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes of their new divisional rivalry at TD Garden.
 
1)    Torey Krug was the best player on the ice in the first 20 minutes. Handcuffed Jimmy Howard on a howitzer from the slot when the Detroit defense let him waltz right in with the puck, but the Wings goalie managed to make the save. Later in the period he got another chance from the same shooting spot on the power play, and he snapped a puck through a Zdeno Chara screen for his first goal of the season. Generated four shots attempts in less than five minutes of ice time, and got three of those shots on net. Clearly it’s a thrill for a Michigan kid to play against the team he rooted for growing up, and Krug is enjoying every minute of it.
 
2)    Easy to see why the Bruins power play will have more success this season. They went 0-for-3 in Thursday’s opener while struggling with their entries into the offensive zone, but had no such issues in their first PP on Saturday night. Milan Lucic made a nice play along the wall to get the puck to Krug once again in the middle, and the young defenseman smoked a shot through a Chara screen. Krug’s speed and shooting ability at the point, Lucic’s clever plays off the wall and Chara’s massive size in front make for a great PP combination. Jimmy Howard never saw Krug’s shot through the Chara screen.
 
3)    The refs missed a call that led to Detroit’s goal in the first period. Loui Eriksson tried to chip a puck into the offensive zone, but instead it hit a glove resting on the dasher at the Wings bench and kicked back toward Boston’s zone. The Wings picked it up with speed, and Henrik Zetterberg pounced on a long Tuukka Rask rebound in front. Blown calls happen, though. Give Detroit credit for taking advantage of a break.
 
4)    Tuukka Rask has only seen five shots on net and gave up a fat rebound off a Justin Abdelkader shot that led to the Zetterberg goal. He looks a little rusty with the lack of action in his end during a very one-sided first period in favor of the Black and Gold.

THIRD PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins beating the Red Wings by a 4-1 score after 60 minutes of their new divisional rivalry at TD Garden.
 
1)    Torey Krug is no playoff fluke. Two assists tonight on a much improved Bruins power play. Huge credit to Bruins scouting staff and management for locking this kid down. He’s the real deal.
 
2)    Zdeno Chara factors into both power play goals in front of the net: one on a screen and the other a nifty backhander after a great Krug feed to him in the slot. He is virtually unbeatable when he’s tracking down pucks in the corner and feeding them back to the points.
 
3)    Tough night for the Wings and Jimmy Howard in their third game in four nights. Was going to be an uphill battle against a well-rested Bruins club.
 
4)    Patrice Bergeron went to the room for a bit in the third period, but returned to action and doesn’t appear any worse for the wear.
 
5)    Great game by Jordan Caron with a goal and by drawing a penalty with his hustle into the offensive zone as Danny DeKeyster had to hold him up without the puck at the blue line. Going to tough for Carl Soderberg to get back into the lineup given the way the third line is playing.


 
5)    Still not loving what I’m seeing out of Brad Marchand. He finished with a shot on net and another shot attempt at the end of the first period, but just doesn’t look comfortable skating with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson on the ice. He seems a little all over the place right now, and hasn’t really engaged emotionally all that much yet in two games.

SECOND PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Red Wings by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of their new divisional rivalry at TD Garden.
 
1)    Jordan Caron fires a one-timer in the second period on a nifty backhanded pass from Reilly Smith after the third line winger had calmly collected a rebound in the slot amid net-front traffic. Caron should have two goals in two games after getting robbed on a bad call by the refs on Thursday night against the Lightning, and he’s put together strong back-to-back games. He’s playing with the kind of urgency and confidence that was missing from his game last year, and it’s making all the difference.
 
2)    Brad Marchand took a suspect hit from Justin Abdelkader midway through the second period in a pileup in front of the Boston net. It looked like a harmless collision at first, but slowed down replays showed the Detroit grinder leave his skates and make contact with Marchand’s head. The B’s winger left the ice after staying down for a prolonged period, but returned in short order meaning there was no quiet room involvement.
 
3)    Just prior to getting jacked up, Marchand snapped home a perfect shot inside the far crossbar from the right face-off circle for his first goal of the season. He’s looked a little sluggish at times, but No. 63 is showing signs of getting into the mix tonight.
 
4)    Patrice Bergeron has lost 10-of-16 face-offs tonight. That’s not something you see everyday.
 
5)    Bruins looking much better than Thursday night in every category: breakouts, coverage in front of the net and both special teams. Good solid step forward against an expected playoff team in the East.