Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first


Bruins-Canucks: Five thoughts from the first

By JoeHaggerty
BOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Vancouver Canucks by a 1-0 score in an important Game 4 at TD Garden with the Bs trailing 2-1 in the series.1)File this under didnt see it coming. The Canucks are 1-for-18 on the power play through the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final, and theyve looked largely ineffective on the man advantage. The Bruins are 3-for-13 thus far. Dennis Seidenberg and Ryan Kesler are battling valiantly in front of the net during the power plays, and the refs are letting a lot of stick work and crosschecks go in front of the net.2)Claude Julien is a genius. He opts for Rich Peverley on the right wing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and Peverleys speed allowed him to get behind Raffi Torres and beat Roberto Luongo cleanly with a shot between the Vancouver goaltenders pads for his third goal of the season.3)It looks like part of the Canucks' game plan is to physically pound Dennis Seidenberg each time he touches the puck, and try to wear him out over the course of the series given his importance. The German defenseman isnt backing down and Zdeno Chara came to his aid in one instance after Ryan Kesler and Seidenberg tangled violently in front of the net.4)Good period by Brad Marchand marred by a bogus cross-checking call at the end of the 20 minutes. Marchand finished with a couple of quality rushes to the net marked by speed and fearlessness, and just missed wide left on a rush through the neutral zone that featured a pair of nasty fakes on Vancouver defenders. He also gave Daniel Sedin the mother of all face washes at the end of one scrum in the Boston end, and then skated away as the refs approached the combatants.5)Three hits and two shots on net for Milan Lucic. Hes creating havoc and fear with his hits on the fore-check and he had a couple of really good offensive chances created in the first period. One forced a good, sprawling glove save from Roberto Luongo. Lucic is as dialed in tonight as hes been during the entire playoffs.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.