Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins-Senators

Haggerty's thoughts from Bruins-Senators
December 28, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Against the Kings, Tuuka Rask was pulled for the third time in the past 10 games.

(AP Photo)

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Ottawa Senators by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of action in Ottawa.
 
1)    A decent, far-from-terrible first period for the Bruins without Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg. The shot totals were 11-11, and both goals were scored on odd bounces around the net. The first goal was a Cody Ceci shot that took a bounce off Milan Michalek in front of the net, and landed right on the stick of Patrick Weircioch, who smoked a shot past a recovering Tuukka Rask. The second goal was a midair tip by Cory Conacher of a Kyle Turris shot, and Rask really didn’t have any chance to make the stop on that either. The only real error on either goal was a lack of back pressure on the first score, but that’s not the defensemen’s fault in the least.
 
2)    Speaking of the defensemen’s fault, brutal play by Erik Karlsson to let Daniel Paille go right by him as the last line of defense before he snapped a five hole shot through the pads of Craig Anderson. Following up on some horrendous plays in the third period last night, Karlsson is going through some serious growing pains in Ottawa without enough of a compete level.
 
3)    The lack of Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton in the lineup has opened things up for guys like Matt Kassian to take runs at Johnny Boychuk and David Warsofsky without much fear of retribution. Credit Jordan Caron for dropping ‘em with the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Kassian after he hammered Warsofsky in the corner, but it really consisted of an angry noogie from a guy that isn’t a fighter. It’s tough for Caron to play a role he’s not suited for, but it takes a brave man to stand in against a bruiser like that who has gotten the best of Thornton in the past.
 
4)    Two points and a plus-2 for Cory Conacher, plus one heck of a midair tip for Ottawa’s go-ahead goal, particularly for a guy that’s struggled through this season for the Senators.
 
5)    No Zdeno Chara could be very rough as things roll along here, and even worse without Dennis Seidenberg. We’ll see.

SECOND PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Ottawa Senators by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Canadian Tire Centre.
 
1)    Tuukka Rask pulled after a Zack Smith shorthanded goal to start the second period. He allowed three goals on 12 shots, but the first two were off really odd bounces before a complete PP breakdown on the third goal for Ottawa. Tough to blame the goalie there, so it would seem to be more about waking up the rest of the team.
 
2)    Jarome Iginla helped create the shorthanded goal when he fell down on the power play, but he atoned for his mistake later in the period. The third of three very good scoring chances finally went in for Iginla as he tapped home a ice cross-ice feed from Milan Lucic for his seventh goal in the last 10 games.
 
3)    Two assists, five shots generated and a plus-3 for Cody Ceci, who is having a very good stretch for the Ottawa Senators. He’s been one of the best players on the ice for either team tonight.
 
4)    It’s too bad the Bruins had to send Niklas Svedberg back to Providence in order to create a roster spot for Zach Trotman, because tonight would have been a perfect chance to get his feet wet.
 
5)    But it might be a good thing for the Bruins that it was Chad Johnson instead. The B’s backup goaltender stopped Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur on back-to-back scoring chances at the end of the second period to keep it a 3-2 game headed into the third. Important saves from Johnson in a confidence-boosting performance for him given the recent goalie carousel circumstances.

THIRD PERIOD

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Ottawa Senators by a 4-3 score after 60 minutes of action at the Canadian Tire Centre.
 
1)    Great first NHL goal for David Warsofsky to tie things up in the third period when he dangled through the entire Ottawa team, and fired away from the outside of the right face-off circle to nail a top shelf bullet past Craig Anderson. Both Warsofsky and I are too young to have watched Bobby Orr play but that’s what I imagine every one of them looked like.
 
2)    A game-worst minus-3 in the game for Torey Krug including a turnover at the blue line that led to a Bobby Ryan breakaway for the game-winning goal. I think this might be Torey Krug’s worst NHL game, and it’s pretty clear he’s fighting the puck right now with the Bruins needed more from him given the injuries surrounding him.
 
3)    No shots on net and a minus-2 rating for Matt Fraser, who didn’t back-check diligently enough on Ottawa’s first goal of the game. I’m just not sure he’s an NHL player capable of getting his shot off, which is the biggest skill that he brings to the table.
 
4)    I wonder if Tuukka Rask could have stopped that Bobby Ryan breakaway in the third period that became the game-winner. That’s the risk you run of pulling your No. 1 early in the second period when all the goals he allowed were weird puck bounces or a shorthanded breakaway.
 
5)     A game effort for the Bruins missing seven guys – including Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg – from the lineup, but nobody is going to weep for the Black and Gold given the success they’ve had over the last few years.