BUFFALO Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Buffalo Sabres locked in a scoreless 0-0 tie after the first 20 minutes of action at the First Niagara Center.
1) Claude Julien playing a cat-and-mouse game with the Buffalo Sabres while making it appear that Brad Marchand wouldnt play on Sunday night, and then plugging him into the lineup at the last minute. Marchand end up skating on the left wing along with Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton while Jamie Tardif was a scratch after it appeared hed be on the third line with Chris Kelly and Chris Bourque. Instead Rich Peverley ended back with his normal linemates.
2) Good bout between Gregory Campbell and Patrick Kaleta in the middle of the first period with Campbell going after the Buffalo scrapper when he lined up Dennis Seidenberg for a hit. Campbell threw a couple of shots, and then absorbed more than a few once Kaleta got swinging. Campbell lost the bout and ended up getting slapped with a two-minute minor and 10-minute misconduct for instigating along with the five-minute fighting major.
3) Good goaltending from both Ryan Miller and Anton Khudobin. Miller made a great stop on Zdeno Chara early in the game and then stood tall for a series of shots when the Patrice Bergeron line pinned the fourth line in the defensive end. Miller stopped a couple of blasts and tips from Bergeron, but lucked out when Nathan Horton fanned on a sweet backhanded pass to the slot from Bergeron. Five shots attempted for the Bergeron line with both of Hortons attempts having been blocked by the Sabres. Sixteen shots total for Boston in the first period, which is among their highest one-period totals of the season.
4) Kaleta has three hits in the first period despite missing five minutes with the fight and is doing his agitating best while Cody McCormick has three shots on net for Buffalo. Their pests are doing their job tonight while Steve Ott hasnt really got his act going yet with six minutes of ice time in the first period.
5) Two shots on net for Daniel Paille in the first period as he looks like hes jumping right back in after missing more than a week. Shawn Thornton and John Scott found themselves wrapped up in a scrum near the Boston net, but I wouldnt expect anything out of those two combatants unless something goes crazy tonight in the next two periods.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while spending some time in the great state of Maine.
*You wanted to see the video and here it is: Dandy Don Cherry singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field in a time-honored tradition.
*There are still some very notable names available on the free agent market looking for jobs very late into the summertime. I predict PTO’s for a lot of these players, who will then have to sing for their supper if they want NHL jobs this season. It’s amazing how the salary cap has begun squeezing out veteran players that still have game.
*An interesting look at the “stick to sports” phenomenon on social media, and a plea that athletes continue to stay vocal on the issues. For people to ignorantly think anybody in sports doesn’t deserve to have an opinion is downright un-American. Everybody has a say in this country.
*Best of luck to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Goucher as he heads to Vegas to do TV play-by-play for the Golden Knights. What a team he will make with former Bruins D-man Shane Hnidy in an announcing tandem with some very strong Boston connections. Big shoes to fill on the radio in replacing Goucher's play-by-play call for B's broadcasts, so here's hoping guys that have paid their dues around here like Ryan Johnston and Adam Kaufman get some strong consideration.
*Injuries could be thrusting No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier into a very important role for the New Jersey Devils this season.
*For something completely different: Who would have ever thought that Andrew Dice Clay would continue to be somewhat relevant all these years later.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while very, very proud of the city of Boston today.
*Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan thinks that the Flames can be a 100-point club this season as they continue to build with youth and skill.
*Brendan Kelly thinks the Montreal Canadiens are dead wrong for building their roster around All-World goalie Carey Price. Are they wrong? I don’t know about that. They certainly have the right coach if they want to play from the goalie on out every night.
*It is officially David Krejci number of days until the NHL regular season begins and I absolutely can’t wait for it to get going.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has Ron Francis hoping that the Hurricanes can live up to the hype after a flurry of offseason moves.
*Jack Eichel says that he wants to be in Buffalo when they start winning. So he plans on staying in Buffalo for a while then, eh?
*The New Jersey Devils are one of those teams that seem to be in the mix for everyone these days, including outgoing NCAA defenseman Will Butcher.
*For something completely different: If you haven’t already, please help us at the NBC family to #CleartheShelters today. My two rescue black labs thank you!