Haggerty: Thoughts from Bruins-Flyers

Haggerty: Thoughts from Bruins-Flyers
January 25, 2014, 2:00 pm
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FIRST PERIOD

 PHILADELPHIA – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Philadelphia Flyers by a 2-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the Wells Fargo Center.

1)    Big day for Jarome Iginla, who had gone without a goal in his last eight games in a slow month of January. Iginla finished with an assist on Zdeno Chara’s power play goal, and then added his own sniper shot to Steve Mason’s glove hand from the top of the right face-off circle. Plenty of room for Milan Lucic to make the pass from behind the Philly net, and the Iginla shot seemed to catch Mason by surprise from a fair distance away.

2)    Plenty mixing, matching and switching of the Bruins defensemen corps throughout the first period. Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara were skating together at one point, as were Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski, and there was even a little Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk mixed in for good measure. Claude Julien went with Bartkowski and Miller in the final minute after Jarome Iginla’s goal with only 17 seconds left, a good shot of confidence for both of those players.

3)    Brad Marchand is definitely back to his old ways. He nailed Claude Giroux with a hit early in the first period that definitely got the Philly center’s attention, and has been doing the same thing as he did to Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith in recent games. The pest is finally back to full confidence, and full force.

4)    Zdeno Chara with seven power play goals this season after his shot ricocheted off Brayden Schenn’s skate, and he becomes the eighth B’s player to reach 10 goals on the season. The depth of scoring on this B’s team is truly impressive.

5)    Aside from a little wrestling match between Dougie Hamilton and Scott Hartnell in the corner, I’m really not seeing a lot of fight out of a Flyers team that should be desperate right now. Very surprising to see.

SECOND PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Philadelphia Flyers by a 4-0 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Wells Fargo Center.

1)    Boy, things have gotten ugly for the Flyers. Steve Mason pulled after giving up a weak fourth goal to Patrice Bergeron, and Jay Rosehill garnering an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for trying to goad Kevan Miller into a fight. That’s along with brawls between Johnny Boychuk/Scott Hartnell and Luke Schenn/Gregory Campbell. Loud, lusty boos for the Flyers as they exited the ice at end of second period.

2)    As expected, the Bruins top six forwards got very healthy against a struggling Flyers defense and some faulty goaltending from Steve Mason. Niklas Grossman and Mark Streit just watched as Reilly Smith harassed them into giving up the puck before he fired a shot off the post, and then off Mason’s backside before bouncing over the goal line. It was pure hustle, and pure (something else) from the Flyers defense.

3)    Another steady period for Kevan Miller: five hits, three blocked shots and plenty of toughness in absorbing big hits from Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell in his 12:30 of ice time. He’s not flashy, but nothing crazy seems to happen in the defensive zone when he’s out on the ice.

4)    Seven shot attempts and 13-of-20 face-off wins for Patrice Bergeron, and for an added bonus he turned Claude Giroux inside-out defensively on his goal that knocked Steve Mason out of the game. Bergeron playing his best hockey of the season over the last few weeks.

5)    Vinny Lecavalier is a shadow of himself these days battling a bad back: zero shots on net in 10:58 of ice time, and 1-for-13 in the face-off circle. That’s a player the Bruins were fortunate that he passed on them during the free agency period. Jarome Iginla has been a much, much better fight.