Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Canadiens

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Canadiens

MONTREAL Here are 15 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins taking the Canadiens by a 2-1 score after 60 minutes of rivalry hockey action at the Bell Centre.
FIRST PERIOD
1) The regrettable Bs defense from the Buffalo loss has returned. They allowed several 2-on-1 situations one that was stopped on a good back-check by Chris Bourque as he crashed into the net and a goal was saved on another when Dougie Hamilton used his stick to block a puck from getting past Rask way outside his crease and Rask stopped Lars Eller cold on a breakaway chance later in the period. Tyler Seguin also took a holding penalty on another potential shorthanded breakaway chance for Brandon Prust, so things were sloppy in the first for Boston defensively.2) Eleven saves for Tuukka Rask in the first period including several high degree of difficulty stops like the Eller breakaway and a stuff shot for Rene Bourque at the front of the net during a wild scramble. This a period that Rask stole for the Bruins where they should be down at least 2-0 given their overall defensive effort.3) Good job in limited action by the Bs fourth line. Jamie Tardif drew a hooking call on P.K. Subban that led to a Boston power play and the Bruins are allowing Ryan Spooner to get some time on the Bs second power play unit. They only totaled a couple of minutes of actual ice time, but thats all they need to do without mistakes per period tonight for the Bruins.4) The Bruins didnt have a shot on goal until 12 minutes into the period and finished with four for the first period. Not enough jump or life to the Bruins breakout and theyre getting beaten in one-on-one battles all over the ice. They look like theyre having trouble keeping pace with the Habs, and its not surprising given that injuries have taken away two of their fastest skaters in Brad Marchand Daniel Paille.5) Chris Kelly went down the runway before the first period was over. Not sure if its an injury or an equipment issue, but stay turned on that one. Not good if hes also banged up.

SECOND PERIOD
1) One shot on net between Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic after two periods of hockey tonight. There isnt enough net-front presence for the big bodies or sustained offensive possession in the attack zone to let them get there. Lucic has also been whistled for a couple of penalties that have broken up the shift-by-shift flow that most players like to build up through the game.2) No shots on net and a penalty that wiped out a Boston power play in the first period for Tyler Seguin. At one point in the second he took a nice cross-ice dish from Lucic as he darted in toward the net, but pulled up to fire a shot rather than taking the puck toward the open lane to the net. Seguins shot hit the outside of the net and the Bruins got nothing for what should have been a great scoring chance with their most gifted goal-scorer. Seguin is one period away from having one empty net goal in his first nine games of the season and thats not good enough.3) P.K. Subban has reportedly made some enemies within his own dressing room after his holdout, but hell win them back quickly if he keeps playing like he is right now. A team-high three blocked shots for Subban and the games only goal to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead. Subban took a half-swing from the right point that rocked off the blade of Rich Peverleys stick and carried over Tuukka Rask for Subbans first goal of the season.4) Milan Lucic is one angry bear tonight. He whacked Andrei Markov with a high stick and then hit Markov with a slash in the second period after both players got their sticks up in the air during a shoving match. Lucic then looked like he was about to get whistled for another penalty right at the end of the second period when he again zeroed in on a Habs skater. Wonder who told him they thought he was out of shape this morning?5) Five of the 15 shots for the Bruins have come from the third line tonight. Doing a good job of at least generating some offense and Chris Bourque saved a goal with a hustling back-check in the first period. They continue to play at a pretty solid level for the Bruins after a slow start.

THIRD PERIOD
1) Great coaching move by Claude Julien getting Tyler Seguin together with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on a line together to start the third period. That line scores goals on each of their first two shifts of the third period and helps give the Bruins just enough offense for the victory. Watching Seguin and Krejci work the puck together is a treat given their natural offensive skills.2) Not a coincidence that the Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk pairing was out on the ice for both the goals as well. Chara made a nice play with two fore-checkers on him to break the puck out of the Bruins zone that eventually led to the second Bruins goal of the night.3) One shot on net and 0-for-4 on face-offs in about six minutes of ice time for Ryan Spooner in his NHL debut. That sounds about right for the 21-year-old playing the biggest game of his life. Welcome to the NHL.4) The PlekanecBourqueGionta line along with Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin got torched on both of those Bruins goals to start the third period. Worth noting as they couldnt keep up with the speed Boston was bringing entering into the offensive zone.5) The Habs had at least two or three chances to tie things up in the third period but couldnt bury a couple of open scoring chances. David Desharnais, in particular, missed one wide left after being set up with a wide open look in front of the net.

Don Sweeney: Bruins 'lost a good player' in Colin Miller

Don Sweeney: Bruins 'lost a good player' in Colin Miller

CHICAGO – Don Sweeney said the Bruins knew and expected they were going to lose one of three players in the NHL expansion draft, and it’s pretty clear it was going to be Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller or Colin Miller leaving the team. The B’s took Kevan Miller out of the equation by leaving him on the protection list after a strong season while also playing some of his best hockey in the playoffs.

That left McQuaid and Miller with each of the two D-men standing an equal chance of getting selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, and the 24-year-old puck-moving Miller going to Vegas for the time being. It remains to be seen if Miller sticks with the Golden Knights, or if there is an eventual plan to flip him elsewhere like perhaps an interested party in Toronto.

Sweeney said the Bruins didn’t want to lose a player with potential like Miller, but it’s also true that he would have been stuck behind younger, better D-men on the depth chart with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo as better right-handed options.

“It was an interesting process to go through. It was hard at times because you felt like other teams were able to find deals to keep their team together while you felt vulnerable in that regard,” said Sweeney at the B’s team hotel in Chicago during a Thursday availability with the media. “You knew you were going to lose a good player. You knew they had targeted three players on our team that we felt they would target, and unfortunately we’re losing a good, young player.

“We thought highly of Colin. He was part of a big trade for us and we wish him well moving forward. We thank for him doing his part with the organization. We lost a good player.”

Clearly, the Bruins lost a defenseman with skills and youth on his side, but it’s also a young guy that hasn’t put it all together yet while never posting more than 16 points in each of his two seasons with the Black and Gold. Perhaps he will put together the offensive package at his next landing spot after showing flashes in Boston over the last two years, but that unknown factor while no longer being considered a prospect is the reason he didn’t find himself on the protected D list along with Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.  

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days


The Bruins released their schedule for the 2017-18 season Thursday, with their campaign beginning at TD Garden on Oct. 5 against the Predators. 

Two things stand out in Boston’s schedule. Eleven of their final 15 games are on the road, and they don’t play the Canadiens until mid-January.  

Then, when the B’s and Habs do finally meet, they play three times in an eight-day span. The rivals face each other Jan. 13 in Montreal, Jan. 17 in Boston and Jan. 20 in Montreal. The Bruins’ final regular-season meeting with the Habs is March 3. 

To see the full schedule, click here.