By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins throwing a beating on the Dallas Stars while leading 4-0 at the TD Garden after the first 20 minutes of regulation.
1)Four fights in the first five minutes of the game, and three fights within the first 1:20 of the first in a game that clearly meant something to the Bruins. Give TSNs Bob McKenzie credit for finding a cheaphit from 2009 by Steve Ott on Gregory Campbell when the Bs center was a member of the Florida Panthers. That was the switch thatstarted things off and theres no doubt that much of that was a resounding statement from the Bs on how much they care about their teammates. Campbell had his nose bloodied in the fight with Ott, but Thornton, McQuaid and Ference all won decisive brawls with their Stars opponents. That's as close to the Big Bad Bruins as fans are likely to ever see with three consecutive fights in the first four seconds of the game before a puck could even be dropped.2)A career-high 8th goal of the season and 14th point of the year Shawn Thornton when he roofed a blast from beyond the faceoff dot high to Kari Lehtonens glove side to close out Bostons scoring. It was Thorntons first goal in 19 games, but the Bs enforcer is to be commended for the way hes worked on his hands, shot and ability to control the boards in both zones.3)Two goals for Patrice Bergeron and six points for the BergeronBrad MarchandMark Recchi line that has basically become Bostons best forward group over the course of the season. Dont expect that to change anytime soon as the MarchandBergeron combo is simply dynamite together. It was Bergerons 10th goal in his last 14 games.4)Adam McQuaid stepped in and dropped Brian Sutherby in the third of four fights in the first period, and showed exactly how much he covets the starting defenseman spot hes been given ahead of Mark Stuart. He doesnt plan on surrendering it anytime soon.5)Tuukka Rask stuffed James Neal on the backdoor when the game was still close in the first period, and looked as good as he has all season in making nine stops against the Stars. Rarely has the team and goaltender worked in tandem for good efforts this season, but thats happening tonight.Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter for taking part in the Women’s March on Saturday.
*The day-to-day NHL grind may be getting to Jimmy Vesey a bit, and causing him to hit a bit of a rookie wall after his Harvard career.
*Alex Radulov has gone from being an NHL headache to being an impact playmaker for the Canadiens in a quick pivot for the Russian player.
*Melrose native Conor Sheary seems to have found a home for himself on the Pittsburgh Penguins skating on a line with a guy named Sidney Crosby.
*The Chicago Blackhawks are always looking to improve, and they’ve reportedly kicked the tires on Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar with Detroit.
*St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is nearing another coaching milestone in what’s been a long, distinguished career behind the bench.
*P.K. Subban is slowly approaching a return to the Nashville Predators lineup from injury, and the Preds need him as soon as possible.
*For something completely different: Greg Poppovich hits the nail on the head here, and it never ceases to amaze me that he’s such a smart, well-versed human being.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.
*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.
*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.
*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.
*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.
*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.
*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.
*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.