BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Nashville Predators 1-0 after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden with the snow falling furiously outside the building.
1) While both sides played conservative, congested team defense for the first 30 minutes or so, things started to open up in the second half of the period. Reilly Smith let loose a bomb from the slot that Marek Mazanec stopped at one end, and Seth Jones wheeled around Adam McQuaid for a nice one-man rush at the other end that was stopped by Niklas Svedberg.
2) A sloppy line change led to Nashville’s goal with Brad Marchand not getting the puck deep, and the Preds getting it up to Mike Fisher quickly. He fired a shot on net as McQuaid and Torey Krug were trying to recover, and then Viktor Stalberg knocked in the rebound as Krug unsuccessfully dove to block the shot.
3) Great setup from Ryan Spooner as he passed to himself off the boards while blowing past a defender, and then fed a puck to a wide open Matt Fraser. Fraser went high glass with the shot, and continues to show a really difficult time getting his lethal release/shot on the net for scoring chances. He needs to start hitting the net if he wants to stick around at the NHL level.
4) Seven generated shot attempts, a pair of hits and 2-for-2 in the face-off circle for Matt Hendricks, who always seems to play pretty good games against the Bruins no matter which team he’s playing for.
5) Bruins one period away from losing three straight games in regulation to NHL tomato cans. Time to put something together.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Nashville Predators locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes:
1) Niklas Svedberg looked OK in the first period given the nerves he must have been feeling. He made eight saves and was the beneficiary when Craig Adams ripped a power-play shot off the crossbar, and also had Matt Bartkowski block a wide open Matt Hendricks shot with his helmet before it went wide of the net. The Swede’s rebound control could be a bit better, however. All in all, a pretty good first period in the NHL.
2) David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla had six of the 11 shots on net by the Predators in the first period. That’s good for them and was partially a by-product of an early power play, but they need more involvement from everybody else on the team offensively.
3) Patrice Bergeron has won six-of-seven face-offs in the first period, and everybody else on the team went 2-for-11 in the face-off circle for the Black and Gold, including an 0-for-3 from Krejci.
4) Adam McQuaid threw a pretty big hit on Eric Nystrom and then looked like he was moving around a little gingerly afterward. That might be something to keep an eye on moving forward: to see if they go for round two of their last heavyweight bout, or to see if McQuaid tweaked something in his lower body.
5) I sent out one tweet about all of the empty yellow seats at TD Garden revealing all of the non-essential Bruins fans in a snowstorm, and got all kinds of whiny responses. A lot of “snow-rattled” people out there apparently.