Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first


Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

By JoeHaggerty
VANCOUVER Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Vancouver Canucks by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at Rogers Arena.1) Boston Bruins have one goal in their last seven periods of play. Tough time to be going through some offensive struggles, but thats what is happening now against a Vancouver team that can quickly recover puck and transition into offense. The speed difference between the Bruins and Canucks is pretty stunning to watch when Vancouver is also playing with the kind of physicality weve seen in the first two games. There are too many Bruins skaters that just cant hang in there speed-wise against Vancouver, and its the reason they constantly appear to be chasing the puck. The shots were 11-11 at the end of the first period, but Vancouver carried that period of hockey in a big way.2) Bad penalty by Zdeno Chara on Ryan Kesler that led to the Vancouver goal, even if Kesler dove a little bit for effect. The Bruins had numbers on defense and Chara could have managed a lot less body contact trying to slow the Vancouver attacker down. In a series where discipline is a huge key, that wasnt disciplined at all and as is almost always the case a sloppy penalty like that leads to a Canucks goal.3) No suspension for Alex Burrows for biting Patrice Bergerons finger came back to hurt the Bruins as he scored the game's only goal to this point. Like Burrows, Nathan Horton, who was not suspended for Game 7 against the Lightning after spraying a fan with water from a water bottle at the end of Game 6, scored a goal in a game in which he could have been suspended. There is some kind of commentary on the NHL in there somewhere.4) A soft goal by Tim Thomas to the short side that slid between his blocker arm and the side of his body once Burrows flicked the puck at him from the left face-off dot. Thomas needs to be pretty close to perfect for the Bruins to beat the Canucks, and the goal allowed was nowhere close to perfect. A pretty good period of hockey otherwise, but one soft goal is too many against Vancouver.5) Four hits for Andrew Alberts in the first period in place of injuredDan Hamhuis. Obviously Alberts brings a different element to the Canucks lineup, and he looked strong standing in for Hamhuis.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’


Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 



Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong


Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.