Bruins' start finishes Flyers

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Bruins' start finishes Flyers

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Brian Boucher thought he set the tone for Game 3.

The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender made one of the best saves of the series just 25 seconds in, as the Bruins came buzzing into the offensive zone after the opening faceoff.

Patrice Bergeron sent a hard, cross-ice pass from the right point down to Brad Marchand at the left post for what should have been a tap-in type of goal. But Boucher extended his right leg in a flash, and robbed Marchand with a beautiful pad save.

But before anyone could get the idea that it was going to be that type of night for the Bruins, Marchand sent a backhand pass to the high slot, where Zdeno Chara let go a one-timer that sniped the top-right corner and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds in.

Thirty-three seconds later, David Krejci added another when he finished a picture-perfect, give-and-go cycle that started from the right half-wall.

That's the kind of night it was going to be.

You always want to have a good start, especially at home, but to score in the first two or three shifts of the game, its always huge, said Chara after the Bruins 5-1 Game 3 win over the Flyers Wednesday night at the TD Garden. I thought that gave us really good momentum.

That was about as good a start as you can ask for, especially on home ice, said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. You dont know that youre going to get that. It doesnt always work out that way. But it definitely helped. It certainly helped from my perspective in goal. Thats for sure.

From Philadelphias perspective, the first 1:03 was, well, as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette put it, unacceptable.

Obviously the start was not good for us, said Laviolette. Not the way we needed to start. You give up two goals in the first two minutes of the game . . . its frightening.

Coming into their building, we knew they would come out strong, said Flyers forward Danny Briere. That was the game right there. We didnt do a good job in the first minute of play to keep them to the outside. Too many breakdowns. We tried, after that, but it's a tough start to spot them two goals to start a game like that.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game that his team was unusually quiet during Wednesdays morning skate, which made him question what kind of effort he was going to get from his time.

The coaches were basically trying to figure out whether it was guys just being really focused, or the other part of it, whether we werent as sharp as we had been," said Julien.

But I think they answered that question pretty quickly.

Charas statement couldnt have been louder with his first goal of the playoffs.

Its great to see him get that offense going, because he has that potential, hes got an amazing shot, said Thomas. Ask the opposing goalies that are facing it. Its no fun to see that guy winding up on you. He gets himself in the right spots, and starts getting those goals, it just makes it easier on the whole team.

Chara added his second goal of the game with 1:22 left in regulation. It was another blast of a slap shot, this time from the left point, that went top shelf. It gave the Bruins their first power-play goal of the postseason, and their fifth and final goal of Game 3.

For me, personally, I really try to focus on our defensive game, be strong throughout the games, said Chara. Im not really worried about the points. Im just counting wins, and thats the way were looking at it in the room.

Its nice to score. Theres no question about that. But I think we all know that its all about wins.

And as long as Charas setting the tone like he did on Wednesday night, theyll certainly be a few more of those.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

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Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
 
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
 
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
 
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 

 

List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

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List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
 
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
 
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
 
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
 
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
 
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
 
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
 
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
 
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
 
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
 
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.