BruinsLeafs: 5 from the First

BruinsLeafs: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comTORONTO Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 2-1 score after 20 minutes of action at Air Canada Centre.1)The Bruins are definitely facing a highly motivated Leafs bunch playing for their playoff life tonight: plenty of bodies colliding and hits thrown over the first 20 minutes. Nathan Horton finished the period with four registered hits and even Tyler Seguin logged a pair of hits against the Leafs in a chippy period where the Bruins played with good effort bursts but didnt exactly play error-free hockey. Milan Lucic and Keith Aulie were caught way behind the play pushing and shoving on Schenns first goal for Toronto after Aulie came in high on a Nathan Horton hit seconds earlier.2)First NHL goal for Nazem Kadri on a weird play in front of the net. Kadri let a shot go, and it appeared that Tim Thomas was screened when Adam McQuaid and Darryl Boyce wrestled for position in front of the net.3)Up and down first period for McQuaid, who was in Thomas vision path on the second goal and was basically thrown out of the way by Luke Schenn on an end-to-end rush that resulted in a goal for Luke Schenn. Then McQuaid atoned for the first defensive breakdown by potting a goal when he flipped a puck to the crease area and watched it go off Dion Phaneufs skate and into the open net behind James Reimer. McQuaid led all players with three shots on net in the first period.4)Andrew Ference played 3:59 in the first period and looked healthy enough, but finished with a minus-2 on the ice as Adam McQuaids defenseman partner. Thats a tough welcome back after three weeks away from the action for the veteran blueliner.5)A nice tribute for Tomas Kaberle 12 minutes into the first period as the Air Canada Centre game ops people put on a long video tribute for the former Leafs defenseman, and had U2s Where the Streets Have No Name playing in the background. Kaberle got a warm, extended ovation from the normally sedate Leafs Nation, and waved to the crowd several times in warm appreciation.

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.
 

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.