BruinsHabs: 5 from the First

BruinsHabs: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Canadiens by a 3-0 score at dominating in pretty much every phase of the game at a raucous TD Garden.1)The Bruins are showing exactly how good and dangerous they are when properly motivated and ready for a big game. Traffic in front of the net, staunch defense in the slot area and constant offensive zone pressure against the Canadiens are in abundance for the entire period. Both the Boychuk goal and the Campbell redirect are all about the bodies flying in front of Carey Price, and a good bounce off the statuesque Hal Gill in front of the net.2)Zdeno Chara has answered in a big way for the Bruins in a game that held plenty of scrutiny for him. He notched assists on each of the first two goals and started ramping up the physicality as the period went, and dropped Mathieu Darche and Andrei Kostitsyn in the same shift at the end of the first period. The TD Garden crowd cheered loudly for Chara after his name was announced on the assist for Bostons first goal.3)Another big ovation for P.J. Axelsson, who has been in attendance for each of the last two games from Sweden. Axelsson was always a big fan favorite and a smiling personality during his long career in Boston, and still has yet to get any kind of a night of recognition at the Garden.4)Johnny Boychuk has always been something of a big gamepostseason player, and he came up big in the first period. Had a couple of bombs on the Montreal net, and finished the first period with two points and a plus-2 while riding alongside Zdeno Chara. That pairing is dominating the Habs right now.5)Carey Price looks a bit frazzled after allowing three goals on 18 shots in the first period. Doesnt look all that calm in the big game setting.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

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.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: