BruinsCanadiens: 5 from the First

BruinsCanadiens: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts -- with a bonus --from the first period with the Bruins leading the Canadiens by a 2-0 score after the first 20 minutes of playoff-style hockey at the TD Garden.1)As theyre beginning to do in every big game this season, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand are injecting themselves into the game as factors. Three shots on net for the line and the games biggest play as an ice-breaker: great puck movement by Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron into the offensive zone and then a perfect pass from Bergeron to Marchand rushing toward the net for the first goal. Thats Marchands sixth goal in the last nine games. Bonus points for Mike Felger sitting next to me, so I could point out exactly how Bergeron made the play happen with a brilliant, playmaking pass. 2)Some awfully juicy rebounds being opened up by Carey Price in a shaky first period. Price allowed a shot to pop straight up into the air that allowed Dennis Seidenberg to slam home the rebound after P.K. Subban missed on a swing with his stick in front of the net. Price has looked shaky, and then he drew a penalty at the end of the period when he crosschecked Milan Lucic twice in the back during a Boston PP at the end of the first.3)The two Bs goals arrived 12 seconds apart and tied the Bruins quickest goal-scoring bunch of the season. The Bs have also twice scored goals 13 seconds apart and have shown a propensity in games to ride momentum and take advantage of a team that goes back on their heels a bit after one score. Thats a good quality to have for a hockey team.4)Four shots on net and four hits by Zdeno Chara in the first period in a strong showing after Chara was the guy shoved by Max Pacioretty after the overtime collapse in Montreal the last time these two teams played. Chara is responding where it matters most: on the ice. 5)Nathan Horton is engaged and playing hard, but hes really in a battle over his hands. He had a perfect pass thrown to him by David Krejci in a 2-on-1 situation that could have buried the Habs by a 3-0 score here in the first, but Horton needed to reload the puck on his stick and allowed Price to get back into the play and make the save.6) Really like the way the Bruins are playing. Forechecking with a purpose and nobody is giving up the blue line without a fight when Montreal is breaking into the zone. That is playoff hockey.

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL. 

The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season. 

It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents. 

“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”

Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari. 

“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”

That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win. 

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.